U.S. Senator Bob Menendez is arguing that the $58,000 he reimbursed to Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen for private jet flights, prior to his corruption trial, covers the almost $1 million in extravagant gifts and contributions that the Senate Ethics Committee ordered he repay, according to report at Politico.
“I think the Ethics Committee was unaware that there were a series of payments that were made before they continued their review,” Menendez said.
WASHINGTON — Sen. Bob Menendez took his fight against federal corruption charges to the Supreme Court this week, petitioning it to hear his arguments that key evidence and charges should be dismissed. Menendez, D-N.J., has long argued that prosecutors overstepped rules meant to protect the legislative branch from executive branch intimidation. He is hoping to persuade… Read the rest of this entry »
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, one of the state’s most powerful politicians and a leading voice for Israel and against Iran in the U.S. Senate, was indicted Wednesday on charges that he intervened on behalf of a campaign donor in exchange for gifts and contributions. The 14-count indictment announced by the Justice Department focused on… Read the rest of this entry »
Senator Bob Menendez, left, and Congressman Frank Pallone, making like chimpmunks at the 2012 Belmar St. Patrick’s parade. Photo credit Charles Measley
The Wall Street Journal reported this afternoon that Washington, DC based federal prosecutors are expected to file criminal corruption charges against U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) as early as this week.
WSJ’s anonymous sources did not reveal the specific charges, but indicated that a legal battle over how much the Constitution shields federal legislators and their aides has come to a close. The charges, which reportedly will be filed in New Jersey’s federal courts, are believed to involve Menendez’s relationship with Florida eye-doctor, Solomon Melgen.
Earlier this month, CNN reported that outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder signed off on the Menendez prosecution. In a hastily called press conference after the CNN report broke on March 8, the senator defiantly defended the “appropriateness and lawfulness” of his conduct in office, including his dealings with Melgen.
NEWARK — Sen. Robert Menendez accepted a third flight on the private plane of a wealthy campaign donor now under federal investigation that he did not disclose until several years later, something the senator’s office called an “oversight.” The powerful…
JERSEY CITY — Saying he was the target of a yearlong “false smear campaign,” U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez yesterday blasted a television news report that said he allegedly used his office to help campaign contributors. At events in his native Hudson…
A Breitbart reporter caught up with U.S. Senator Bob Menendez at Newark Penn Station last night. She asked him where he spent Easter last year and if he traveled on Dr. Salomon Melgen’s private jet over the holiday.
Menendez dodged the question. “Basically, the people who have all said that have all filed affidavits saying they lied.”
Three Dominican women have signed affidavits saying that they were paid to lie about having sex with Menendez in exchange for money. No one has alleged that those women piloted Melgen’s plane
A federal grand jury in Miami is investigating Menendez’s relationship with Melgen. Melgen, who contributed $700,000 to Menendez’s campaign coffers is under investigation for Medicare fraud. Menendez intervened with Medicare officials. He also put pressure on the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security to help Melgen’s Dominican port security company collect on a $500 million contract with the Dominican government.
As a United States Senator, Menendez is required to disclose and get Ethics Committee approval for expensive gifts like travel on a private jet. Prompted by NJ State Senator Sam Thompson’s ethics complaint, Menendez admitted in January of this year that he had traveled twice on Melgen’s jet in 2010. He then reimbursed Melgen $58,500 for those flights.
But Thompson’s complaint included an allegation that Menendez flew to the Dominican Republic on Melgen’s jet on Sunday April 8, 2012. Menendez has not accounted for that flight. He hasn’t denied being on that flight.
The Menendez for Senate campaign spent $1812 with the flight tracking website, FlightAware, in December, according to the campaign’s year end report with the Federal Election Commission. (hat tip, The Auditor) The expense was listed as a disbursement for the senator’s 2018 primary campaign.
A Premium+ commercial membership to FlightAware costs $39.95 per month. Perhaps Menendez pre-paid for a 45.36 month subscription? More likely, as The Auditor speculated, Menendez was doing a review of the flights taken on Dr. Salomon Melgen’s private jet. In January of this year Menendez reported that he took two flights on Melgen’s jet in 2010 and belated reimbursed his generous benefactor $58,500 for the luxury travel with personal funds. FlightAware offers custom reports in addition to its monthly subscription service.
Menendez must have a memory problem if he couldn’t remember taking the two private flights. Or maybe he files on lots of private jets. Or maybe Melgen was too busy with the FBI to check his records for Menendez on the exact date and time of the flights. Either way, its good that Menendez got the information in preparation for his 2018 primary campaign.
Menendez is taking the 2018 primary campaign very seriously. In addition to his research in to his own travel habits, the Menendez campaign spent $3,978.73 on T-shirts to secure the nomination in five years, according to the FEC report.
One of the reporters who covered Menendez on his “I don’t need any rehabilitating” press day with school kids as props sent a note to correct this post. The senator’s staff only restricted the questions reporters could ask during a conference call about his trip to Afghanistan. There were no restrictions during the press conference about sequestration at Newark Liberty Airport or while Menendez was reading to the children.
Kudos to the reporters for not asking tough questions about prostitutes, sex with children and the ethics of Menendez’s relationship with Dr. Salomon Melgen during the book readings with kids.
Why the kit gloves during the press conference? The reporter said that Menendez did not allow a lot of time for questions and split right before the press conference ended.
It seems to me that the New Jersey press corp is leaving the heavy lifting regarding Menendez to the national media. At least NJ.com and APP ran today’s Associated Press lengthy story about how Menendez sponsored legislation to help Melgen’s investment in a “green energy” company in addition to the Dominican Republic port security deal.
After hiding out in the bowels of the Capitol and the hills of Afghanistan for most of February, Senator Bob Menendez came out to New Jersey’s press yesterday with school kids as props, according to a Star Ledger report.
The senator’s staff laid out ground rules…no questions about flights to the Dominican Republic on Dr. Salomon Melgen’s private jet and no questions about Senate hearings held specifically for Melgen’s benefit. New Jersey’s mainstream media has never bothers to ask questions about prostitutes or sex with underage Dominican girls. It probably wasn’t necessary to deem such questions off limits. From the Star Ledger’s report, it would seem that all the reporters complied with Menendez’s wish that he not be asked “off-topic” questions. Wouldn’t it be nice if the press corp gave Governor Chris Christie the same courtesy.
Menenedez read House Mouse, Senate Mouseto a group of 15 4-5 years olds at Metropolitan Baptist Church in Newark, held a news conference about sequestration at Newark Liberty Airport, and met another group of school children in Lodi.
Asked whether the senator’s packed schedule was intended to rehabilitate his image at home after a month of harsh news coverage, Menendez bristled and said his appearance with the children was part of “Read Across America Day,” which he has participated in for almost 20 years.
“It’s far from rehabilitating,” said Menendez, who has repeadedly characterized the accusations as part of a smear campaign by right-wing forces. “It’s about being able to go ahead and express to kids the importance of reading,”
“And secondly,” he said, “I don’t think I need any rehabilitating.”
Will Senate Democrats continue to give Menendez cover if he lied to them?
The reporter who first broke the Menendez sex scandal storyposted an eyewitness account of Senator Robert Menendez dining with Dr. Salomon Melgen one mile from Teterboro Airport on Easter morning of 2012, while Melgen’s private plane was being refueled for a direct flight to the Dominican Republic.
Menendez has admitted to taking three flights to the DR on Melgen’s jet. One was paid for by the Democratic Senatorial Committee. The other two were reported and paid for personally by Menendez…almost three years after the fact…as a result of NJ State Senator Sam Thompson’s ethics complaint filed in November of 2012. Menendez paid $58,500 for the two flights last month.
The Dominican prostitutes who first fingered Menendez said they met him during Easter of 2012. Menendez’s and Melgen’s friend, Dominican politician Vinicio Castillo Seman admitted that the senator was the Dominican Republic on Easter of last year, according to Breitbart.
In addition, Menendez’s and Melgen’s friend–powerful Dominican politician Vinicio Castillo Seman–recently slipped up and admitted the senator was in the Dominican Republic on Easter Sunday in 2012, at the scene of where the original alleged wrongdoing took place. “I’ve known Menendez as a friend and of my cousin Salomon Melgen,” Castillo said while attempting to defend Menendez amid the scandalous allegations that currently plague him. “No one has come forward on the allegations and evil accusations, we spend every Easter together in Casa de Campo.”
Though it is now known Menendez spent Easter in Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic with Melgen and Castillo, it is unclear how he got there. He and his staff have continually refused to answer that question.
But it has appeared for a long time that Menendez got there via Melgen’s plane. Flight path data obtained by Breitbart News and published in early February shows Melgen’s plane flew from Melgen’s home city West Palm Beach, Florida, to Teterboro, New Jersey, on Easter Sunday morning. It stayed there at Teterboro from its landing at 11:30 a.m. until taking off to head straight to the Dominican Republic at 12:50 p.m.
It is during this timeframe Melgen’s plane was on the ground in New Jersey, refueling and preparing for the flight to the Dominican Republic, that Breitbart News’ eyewitness in the area said he saw Menendez and Melgen brunching together at Arena Diner a mile or so away from the airport.
If Menendez was on the Melgen’s flight to the Dominican Republic last Easter, he’s been lying to the American people, and the Senate Ethics Committee, since early January when he paid $58,500 for the flights he’s admitted to belatedly.
Menendez and his office continue to refuse to answer whether the senator was on that flight, or if he got to the Dominican Republic that Sunday another way.