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Feds indict Democratic Senator Menendez on corruption charges

Feds indict Democratic Senator Menendez on corruption charges

Not an April fool’s joke

A years long investigation into New Jersey’s Democratic Senator Robert Menendez resulted in a federal indictment for corruption charges today.

Sen. Menendez denies any wrong doing.

According to the New York Times:

WASHINGTON — Senator Robert Menendez was indicted on federal corruption charges on Wednesday, according to The Associated Press, setting the stage for a bitter court fight and putting his political future in doubt.

The charges had long been expected and Mr. Menendez, a 61-year-old Democrat of New Jersey, has promised to fight them. He has offered no indication that he plans to step down or relinquish any power while he goes through that process.

The case involves Mr. Menendez’s longtime friendship with Dr. Salomon Melgen, a wealthy Florida eye surgeon and political benefactor. The two men became friends in the 1990s and have spent holidays together in the Dominican Republic, where Dr. Melgen, 60, has a home in the gated oceanfront resort of Casa de Campo.

Prosecutors say Dr. Melgen lavished the senator with gifts, including two round-trip flights worth $58,000 aboard his private jet. In turn, prosecutors say that Mr. Menendez used his Senate seat to help Dr. Melgen when he, as a member of the Senate Finance Committee, encouraged the Obama administration to change the Medicare reimbursement policy in a way that would make millions for the doctor.

Mr. Menendez said the Medicare debate was a legitimate policy discussion, not a personal favor. The Finance Committee oversees Medicare finances. He says the gifts he received from Dr. Melgen should be reviewed in the context of their long friendship.

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Gremlin1974 | April 1, 2015 at 5:33 pm

“He has offered no indication that he plans to step down or relinquish any power while he goes through that process.”

Much like Harry Reid, you actually have to have ethics and morals to know when you should bow out to protect the integrity of your office.

iconotastic | April 1, 2015 at 5:35 pm

So this was all based on the scandal reported nearly 3 years ago. I wonder when the decision was made to go for an indictment and if there was any White House pressure. After all, the dog eater is both petulant and very eager to abuse his power.

    Sammy Finkelman in reply to iconotastic. | April 1, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    The decision to indict was probably made last year, and at the same time the decision was made to do this just before e Eric Holder left the office of Attorney General. The news of the indictment was leaked a while ago, but then there was a sudden holdup in the confirmation of Loretta Lynch.

    There are just enough votes to confirm her, with Biden, but it is being held up by the fact that Democrats don’t want to pass an anti human-trafficking bill, unless the fund to help victims of sex trafficking also pays for abortions that are not rapes (or the other kinds of abortions that the Hyde Amendment permits the federal government to pay for.)

    In retaliation, Mitch McConnell is not going to call her confirmation up for a vote.

    Maybe the indictment was just too far advanced to postpone it any longer.

    Or maybe this issue is going to be over.

    platypus in reply to iconotastic. | April 1, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    His stance on Cuba and his stance on Israel. Jugears would never let that slide.

Subotai Bahadur | April 1, 2015 at 5:44 pm

I am not disputing that Menendez is almost as corrupt as Harry Reid, just worse at covering it up. BUT he is a Democrat in office. That usually is the textbook definition of immunity from prosecution. Live boy, dead girl, or bunga-bunga on Epstein’s Pedophile Island.

What made the difference?

Right Here:

Arming Iran with nuclear weapons is to be the crowning success of Obama’s first two terms; and he will brook no opposition from within the Party.

Amazing coincidence that this happens at almost the same time the DOJ brushes off the Lerner prosecution. One would almost think there was some sort of political agenda here…

Henry Hawkins | April 1, 2015 at 6:06 pm

They’ve been sitting on this for over two years. Menendez’s criticism of Obama’s Iran deal made them tune up the indictment, get ready for court. But the coup de grace which reveals just how juvenile and petty the Obama administration has become was to lay the charges today, April Fool’s Day.

Obama hopes all the other Democrat office holders in the country took notice of what can happen when you doubt your king.

    Ragspierre in reply to Henry Hawkins. | April 1, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    Cuba. Don’t forget Cuba.

    “It’s Chinatown, Jake…”

    Bruce Hayden in reply to Henry Hawkins. | April 2, 2015 at 7:43 am

    I think that it is Iran that drove the timing here. Apparently, the good Senator has withdrawn from being the ranking member on the committee as a result of this. Which apparently means that there won’t be any legislation coming out of the Senate on maintaining sanctions. Something like that – the Administration preventing the Senate from interfering with their Iran agreement by pushing Menendez to the side.

    Still, they likely don’t want to actually push him from office, because that would probably give the Republican governor of his state a chance to at least temporarily appoint a Republican successor.

On Democrat down….a few hundred to go….

    Henry Hawkins in reply to profshadow. | April 1, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    Pffft. It’s Holder’s Justice Department indicting a Democrat. Obama will punish Menendez for a while, the cat torturing the mouse, but eventually let him off the hook – assuming Menendez sings a new pro-Obama tune. He may not.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Henry Hawkins. | April 2, 2015 at 11:51 am

      Don’t forget, Henry – on the same day they indicted a Democrat not supporting Obama (Menendez), they also announced they would not charge a Democrat IRS official who bent over backwards to support Obama (Lerner).

      It’s springtime in America!

Of course Menendez won’t resign, doing so would give the Republicans a 55th seat until a special election and Governor Christie presumably would name a Republican to the vacancy. One additional Republican vote means the GOP would need to pick up only five Democrat votes to close debate. A 2015 election would be an off year election, if Christie chooses well the replacement could have a chance to win the seat.