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The Menendez Paradox: Going through Charges Right after Testifying Towards Corruption

Enlarge this imageSen. Robert Menendez on his technique to the Senate ground for just a number of votes last 7 days. Jordan Nolan Jersey Win McNamee/Getty Imageshide captiontoggle captionWin McNamee/Getty ImagesSen. Robert Menendez on his way to the Senate ground for just a series of votes last 7 days.Win McNamee/Getty ImagesSen. Bob Menendez, who arrived up inside the sharp-edged politics of Hudson County, N.J., has actually been below varying amounts of ethics scrutiny in 7 of his nine-plus yrs like a senator. He’d never been indicted till yesterday. The indictment landed like a chunk of free concrete from Hudson County’s Pulaski Skyway: 14 counts alleging journey, vacations and contributions in trade for your sort of clout a senator can wield in Washington. Justice Section prosecutors called it a bribery scheme. The indictment suggests Salomon Melgen, an ophthalmologist in West Palm Beach front, Fla., gave Menendez totally free journey with a non-public jet, holidays and hefty political contributions, they allege. In return, the indictment claims, Menendez did favors to the medical profe sional, as well as in four instances, for your doctor’s girlfriends. That is plural girlfriends. Melgen was also charged with thirteen counts of his po se s. Menendez insists Melgen is an outdated close friend, not an operator who extracted favors from an obliging lawmaker. That is a significant authorized protection about the presents he obtained. Menendez is usually very likely to invoke the Constitution’s Speech or Debate clause, which bars the prosecution of representatives and senators inside their official busine s enterprise.He reported he’ll battle text that he is used right before in his political profe sion and vowed, “I’m not likely wherever.” The indictment lists items and contributions totaling nearly $1 million. The biggest slice is $600,000 to a Democratic Super PAC, which invested it that can help Menendez win re-election. Melgen also gave $40,000 into the Robert Menendez Lawful Expense Have confidence in a particular irony there furthermore contributions to his campaign committee. Melgen flew Menendez on his private jet, and they vacationed together in Paris and Melgen’s villa from the Dominican Republic. Menendez fought to receive Melgen from the hook for overbilling Medicare by $9 million. In 2012, Menendez arranged a meeting with then-Senate Greater part Leader Harry Reid and Kathleen Sebelius, then secretary of Well being and Human Expert services. In January 2013, equally as he was a suming chairmanship on the Overseas Relations Committee, the FBI executed a doc raid on Melgen’s busine s office. That ended a calendar 12 months where it seems Menendez wasn’t remaining investigated. The indictment also claims Menendez pushed for vacationer and university student visas for three girlfriends of Melgen, plus the sister of Brian Sutter Jersey one of these. And on the third make any difference, Menendez went to administration officers and in July 2012 identified as them to testify in a Foreign Relations subcommittee over the Dominican Republic government’s refusal to accomplish small busine s which has a port protection busine s co-owned by Melgen. The Dominican Republic angle designed from a scandal that didn’t happen allegations that Melgen and Menendez had had prostitutes for the villa. Among the ladies recanted the story, and it died. But, just like the raid on Melgen’s busine s office, it produced the trail main to yesterday’s indictment. Earlier, numerous federal prosecutors checked out Menendez for five yrs, in relationship using a nonprofit corporation in addition to a healthcare facility in Hudson County. Chris Christie, then the Bush-appointed federal prosecutor for new Jersey, i sued the first subpoena in September 2006, under two months before Election Day. The case quickly dominated the Senate contest, wherein Menendez was in search of to maintain the seat he’d been Doug Gilmour Jersey appointed to before while in the year. He received, and Christie went on to generally be elected governor. Neither of your cases in the long run touched Menendez. He was knowledgeable the probe was above in October 2011. But here’s the Menendez paradox: None of these investigations suit with his to start with time working with federal prosecutors. 30 several years ago, Menendez was a protg of Union City Mayor Billy Musto, a power in Hudson County and New Jersey politics. The feds went after Musto for racketeering, extortion and fraud, and set him on trial in 1982. Menendez, the son of Cuban immigrants, wore a bullet-proof vest as he testified towards Musto. The mayor went to prison. The former protg later became Union Metropolis mayor, an influence in nearby and state politics, a congre sman and a senator. And now, he is the main sitting senator billed with bribery considering that 1980.

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