Posted: 5:29 pm PDT
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Today, a federal grand jury indicted Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) on corruption charges. According to the WSJ, Mr. Menendez, 61 years old, has said “he didn’t do anything wrong and plans to fight the charges.” The indictment is the culmination of a lengthy inquiry by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) into the relationship between the New Jersey senator and Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen.” Wait, can you use constituent services as defense if the constituent lives in another state?
New Jersey editorials have now called on the senator to resign. Media reports says that he will step down as ranking member of Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) because of the indictment. The good senator from New Jersey is reportedly “outraged” by the indictment. He condemned the corruption case against him saying, “I am not going anywhere… I’m angry and ready to fight.” And he is, by god!
— Michael Beckel (@mjbeckel) April 1, 2015
We’ve read through the indictment. We have excerpted the parts below that include the visas for girlfriends initiative (Brazil, Dominican Republic, Ukraine), the back and forth with Consular Affairs, the visa refusals that were overturned, and the back and forth with the INL bureau on a port contract.
The names of the State Department officials are not included, but the indictment includes the offices at the State Department that were the receiving end of the senator’s attention and advocacy: DAS for Visas Services, Embassy Santo Domingo and the Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).
There’s also this nugget:
State 2 to Staffer 8 writes:
If H is in the room — best if the good senator from New Jersey doesn’t mention the prior private meeting they had.
Hey, that’s H, the State Department’s Bureau of Legislative Affairs whose job is to “facilitates effective communication between State Department officials and the Members of Congress and their staffs.” Whatsthatabout?
The full indictment document is available online here (pdf)