This last week, Senator Menendez (D-NJ) admitted that disclosure and/or repayment for two 2010 trips to the Dominican Republic on board a campaign donor’s private jet “slipped through the cracks.” He has repaid the donor this past January to the tune of about $58,000.
One of the requirements of a U.S. Senator is the disclosure of income and gifts. The disclosure forms must be accurate and complete and are due by May 15 for the preceding calendar year. The Senator’s “omission” is in fact a false statement, which is a felony. Since there were two separate trips, there will be two separate felony charges.
Senator Ted Stevens was convicted of false statements in 2008. The government claimed he did not properly report gifts in the renovation of his home in Girdwood, Alaska; and he received a gift of a fish carved from wood as a donation for the Stevens Library, which had yet to be built. If you look at the Ted Stevens prosecution, the same rule of law applies to Menendez. It involves disclosure, required by law. Omissions are a felony, regardless of the reason.
Senator Stevens was ultimately exonerated to some degree when a Justice Department probe found evidence of gross misconduct by prosecutors. He didn’t get a fair trial because evidence was withheld. The Justice Department dismissed the indictment, which vacated the convictions. The guilty verdicts came just prior to Steven’s reelection bid, which he narrowly lost to term-limited Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich. The damage was done, and the balance of power shifted in the Senate. Now we have ObamaCare.
Prostitution is legal in the Dominican Republic. Six anonymous prostitutes are on record saying they had sex with Menendez. One of the accusers was sixteen at the time of the trips in 2010. If proved to be true, this allegation would be another felony. It is against federal law to travel to another country and have sexual relations with an underage person. These unidentified accusers report that Dr. Melgen is a frequent customer and routinely has sex parties on his boat and at his residence. It is reported that the FBI is investigating this allegation. Senator Menendez has denied any involvement with Dominican Prostitutes.
I don’t think the “I forgot” excuse will hold much water. This pesky little law is in place to stop corruption. Since the FBI has the goods on Menendez with two felonies, the investigation will hopefully be deep and broad. Why were the trips not disclosed in the first place? Sex sells; we all know that. But money and power corrupt. Hopefully, the FBI will get the money and power allegations sorted out in short order. The questions that need answering now involve the Medicare reimbursement or fraud committed by Dr. Melgen, Dr. Melgen’s $1 billion Dominican port security contract, and a reported $70,000 in donations to a PAC that helped reelect Senator Menendez.
Senator Menendez is reported to be involved in all of these affairs.
On October 27, 2008, Stevens was found guilty of all seven counts of making false statements.