DOJ Weighs Charges Against Dem Senator in Corruption Probe: Report
The Department of Justice is considering corruption charges against Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.), the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
Menendez has been under investigation for allegedly accepting, in exchange for political favors, a Mercedes and a luxury apartment from New Jersey’s IS EG Halal, which won an exclusive contract from Egypt to certify halal meat exports to the country. The award attracted scrutiny at the time because the head of the company is not Muslim and has little experience in halal certification. Investigators were probing whether Menendez, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that dishes out billions of dollars to Egypt, used his influence to get the company the contract in exchange for gifts.
Prosecutors will meet with Menendez’s lawyers in the coming weeks before they make a final decision, the Journal reported.
Menendez previously stood trial for public corruption in 2017, when prosecutors accused him of providing kickbacks to a wealthy doctor friend. The doctor, Salomon Melgen, reportedly bought the senator a three-night stay in a Paris hotel using 650,000 points he had accrued on his American Express credit card. In exchange, former Senate staff testified, Menendez issued letters of support to help Melgen bring his Latin American girlfriends into the country on visas.
That case ended in a mistrial.