According to at least one published report, President Trump is being urged to pardon, or commute the prison sentence of, Dr. Salomon Melgen, currently serving 17 years for Medicare fraud and related crimes.
Letting Melgen off the hook would be a horrible abuse of the pardon and commutation powers invested in the president by the Constitution, arguably worse than Bill Clinton’s pardon of fugitive Marc Rich.
According to testimony at his trial and allegations in civil lawsuits, Melgen performed unnecessary surgeries and injections on unsuspecting elderly people, including some with fake eyes or who were already blind. Others claimed they suffered eye infections after receiving injections of bacteria-laden medicine. Some lost sight in one or both eyes. The contamination stemmed from Melgen dividing up single-use vials of ocular drugs so he could bill Medicare multiple times.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Senator Robert Menedez (D-NJ) of orchestrating the controversy over the firing of State Department Inspector General Steve Linick.
Pompeo said. “I don’t get my ethics guidance from a man who was criminally prosecuted — case number 15-155, New Jersey Federal District Court. A man for whom his Senate colleagues, bipartisan said basically that he was taking bribes. That’s not someone who I look to for ethics guidance.”
Pompeo is right. Menendez is a crook. He should have been forced out of the Senate and gone to jail with his co-defendant Salomon Melgen. But it was the Trump Justice Department that let Menendez off the hook.
As we have recounted previously, Menendez was tried on bribery and related charges, but that trial ended in a mistrial on November 16, 2017, and the Justice Department made a decision not to retry … Read More ➡
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 ➡