Today we filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking documents pertaining to the prosecution of Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) on bribery and related charges, and the Justice Department decision not to retry him. Menendez was tried once but that trial ended in a mistrial on November 16, 2017.
Why did the Justice Department let Menendez escape after pouring so many resources into the investigation, prosecution, and trial? One possible explanation is that political influence was exercised on Menendez’ behalf. Menendez’ lawyer is Abbe Lowell, who also represents Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law. Kushner and his family are longtime donors to Democratic politicians in New Jersey, including Menendez. Someone made the decision to save Menendez’ career and possibly keep him out of prison. We want to know who made the decision and on what basis.
The Justice Department announcement was made in a terse statement on January 31, citing … Read More ➡
Senator Robert Menendez, D-N.J., is on a good luck streak. On April 26, the Senate Ethics Committee formally admonished Menendez, who had faced multiple bribery charges until the Justice Department dropped the case four months ago. The ethics panel had concluded that he “knowingly and repeatedly accepted gifts” from a Florida eye doctor, Salomon Melgen, who was convicted in a separate case. It also ordered Menendez “to repay the fair market value of all impermissible gifts not already paid.” While Menendez several years ago repaid $58,500, a sum he says reflects the value of the gifts, the true figure is likely a lot higher. True to form, the committee did not provide its own dollar figure.
Robert Menendez for several years had a close friendship with a Dominican-born, North Palm Beach, Fla.-based ophthalmologist, Salomon Melgen, a man with a gift for extracting Medicare reimbursements for unnecessary and often excruciating … Read More ➡
The Senate Ethics Committee has “severely admonished” Robert Menendez, once again demonstrating its uselessness. Of course, the Committee did not have the authority to put Menendez where he really belongs — in prison — but it could have recommended something of a little more consequence, like Censure or expulsion.
Once again, the Senate has proven that it is the world’s most exclusive club, and membership has its privileges. The Ethics Committee — chaired by Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and consisting of three members of each party — probably never wanted to render judgment on Menendez and probably never thought they would have to.
The Senate investigation began in late 2012 but was put on hold when the Justice Department initiated a criminal probe. It resumed late last year when the criminal trial in New Jersey resulted in a hung jury. The Justice Department first declared that it would retry Menendez … Read More ➡