Friday, March 6, 2015

Bobbing For Horse Apples

The Department of Justice is getting ready to bring corruption charges against Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) over allegedly using his position to help a Democratic donor's business interests in exchange for gifts, CNN reported on Friday.

A formal announcement about the charges is expected to come "within weeks," according to CNN.

Citing anonymous sources who were "briefed on the case," CNN said Attorney General Eric Holder had approved prosecutors' request to charge Menendez.

The donor at the center of the charges, according to CNN, is Salomon Melgen, an ophthalmologist in Florida who's been a friend and supporter of Menendez for years.

As TPM has previously highlighted, Melgen's ties to Menendez have fallen under scrutiny over the past few years. CNN noted that federal investigators have been looking plane trips that Menendez took to the Dominican Republic as Melgen's guest about five years ago. When the investigation of the trips became public in 2013, Menendez reimbursed Melgen $58,000 for the flights, saying it was an "oversight" that he hadn't disclose the trips.

But it seems the Feds still think there's enough there for a criminal case, something pretty rare for a sitting Senator.  It's also important to note than Menendez has single-handedly been the thorn is President Obama's side on loosening up our Cuba policy, something he's said will never happen as long as he's in the Senate.

That may not be much longer.

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