Allegations of corruption and scandal have swarmed New Jersey Democratic Senator Menendez for years now. That the DOJ waited until now to pull the trigger is… interesting.
Sen. Bob Menendez on possible DOJ charges: "The start of this investigation is suspect" http://t.co/eoddbtDMLq
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) March 6, 2015
Just four days ago, Menendez said he would only support a deal that dismantled Iran’s nuclear program, according to NJ.com:
“As long as I have an ounce of fight left in me, as long as I have a vote and a say and a chance to protect the interests of Israel, the region, and the national security interests of the United States, Iran will never have a pathway to a weapon,” Menendez said, bringing the delegates to their feet. “It will never threaten Israel or its neighbors, and it will never be in a position to start a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Not on my watch.”
Menendez is one of the most outspoken supporters of increasing sanctions if negotiations fail to curb Iran’s nuclear program. The issue has pitted Menendez against President Obama, a fellow Democrat.
Obama has threatened to veto new sanctions legislation, saying it would give Iran an excuse to walk away from negotiations and leave a military solution as the only option to prevent the Islamic Republic from developing nuclear weapons.
Though it’s worth noting Menendez has a history of supporting AIPAC, and fighting with the White House over the proper course of action on Iran.
Today, CNN reports the DOJ is moving forward with criminal corruption charges:
Washington (CNN)The Justice Department is preparing to bring criminal corruption charges against New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat, alleging he used his Senate office to push the business interests of a Democratic donor and friend in exchange for gifts.
People briefed on the case say Attorney General Eric Holder has signed off on prosecutors’ request to proceed with charges, CNN has learned exclusively. An announcement could come within weeks. Prosecutors are under pressure in part because of the statute of limitation on some of the allegations.
The case could pose a high-profile test of the Justice Department’s ability to prosecute sitting lawmakers, having already spawned a legal battle over whether key evidence the government has gathered is protected by the Constitution’s Speech and Debate clause.
The FBI and prosecutors from the Justice Department’s public integrity section, have pursued a variety of allegations against Menendez, who has called the probe part of “smear campaign” against him.
Whether or not Menendez improperly used of his federal office and the influence of other federal agencies for personal business interests is the question investigators hope to answer. The long, sordid story of Menendez’s alleged misconduct is here.
Also as likely, if not more so:
Isn’t it just as likely Menendez knew the charges were coming down and started shouting from the rafters on his pet cause to martyr himself?
— Daniel Foster (@DanFosterType) March 6, 2015
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