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New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez stands trial in federal court, credibly charged with trading lavish gifts for government favors.
If convicted, he must be swiftly ejected from office by a bipartisan vote of his peers — never mind the collateral damage to the Senate Democratic caucus of which he is a part when Jersey’s governor, currently Republican Chris Christie, gets to tap a successor.
Minority - Leader - Chuck - Schumer - Time
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer ought to waste no time making that ethical standard clear.
Prosecutors, marshaling mountains of evidence, build a persuasive case that Menendez traded cash and gifts for official aid for ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen, a South Floridian convicted earlier this year of robbing Medicare of more than $100 million.
Melgen - Menendez - Jet - Trips - Resort
Melgen gave Menendez private jet trips, resort vacations and, notably, campaign cash; Menendez gave Melgen extensive government help.
Menendez says the gifts were just kindnesses from a wealthy pal, and that the aid he extended Melgen was nothing more than a senator doing his job. His defense has gone so far as to claim the case is an “attack” on a culture of generosity among Hispanic-Americans.
Tripe - Menendez - Gifts - Public - Disclosure
Disgusting tripe. Menendez failed to report the gifts to the public on disclosure forms, strongly suggesting he thought he had something to hide. And the timing linking Melgen’s gifts to Menendez’s actions could hardly be more suspicious.
Two donations totaling $60,000 to Menendez-supporting campaign committees were promptly followed...
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