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No political party ever wants to get caught in a corruption scandal, particularly one flavored by betrayal of domestic interests for foreign gain. Here comes the Democratic Party with two scandals, and in a presidential election year.

The first has to do with U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, whose bribery trial started last week. The second one involves U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas, who was indicted earlier this month on federal charges of bribery and money laundering.

Each man deserves to have his day in court, and both dispute the charges. Several Democrats have called on Menendez to resign, though Cuellar's indictment has largely been met with silence. Democrats shouldn't treat these credible allegations as headlines to be lamented and then forgotten. The party that has decried Russian interference in our democracy and ethical failures by Republicans should reflect on behaviors in its own house that may have invited unscrupulousness.

It will accrue to Democrats' favor to vociferously denounce all corruption, not just the kind that makes the other party look bad.

The sprawling Menendez corruption case is eye-opening. Federal prosecutors say the senator and his wife accepted bribes in exchange for Menendez using the power of his office to aid Egyptian and Qatari officials, an Egyptian American entrepreneur and a New Jersey businessmen. A 39-page indictment alleges that Menendez tried to interfere with fraud investigations, disclosed nonpublic and "highly sensitive" State Department information to help the Egyptian government and pressured a U.S. official to protect a halal meat monopoly.

In exchange for all these political favors, Menendez and his wife were showered with gifts ranging from gold bars to mortgage payments and car payments for a Mercedes-Benz, the indictment alleges. The New York Times reported that part of the senator's defense is to blame his wife for withholding information and misleading him.

That's rich. Menendez, a septuagenarian, has been in public office since the 1970s, and it's on him to manage his finances responsibly and ethically. If you are letting someone other than your family help you pay for a house or a luxury car, then you shouldn't be in public office.

The federal indictment against Cuellar and his wife alleges that he used his political influence to shape U.S. policy in favor of Azerbaijan's state-run oil company and to advocate for slackening American anti-money laundering rules to help a Mexican bank. Prosecutors accuse the Cuellars of taking bribes disguised as consulting payments for Cuellar's wife. The couple has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The behavior outlined in the indictments is plainly illegal, but it would be a mistake to think of the charges, if corroborated in court, as mere failures of individual moral character. Loose campaign finance rules contribute to a toxic environment where public servants of all political leanings become enamored with the trappings of wealth, seduced by junkets and extravagant gifts and parties thrown by their donor friends or ideological allies.

All of this gray may happen within the margins of the law, but it tempts officials to cross red lines.

If Democrats want the moral high ground, they'll take stock of what they have been willing to tolerate and raise the bar for their own.