What nobody has addressed is Sen. Menendez’s role with Ukraine and the speculations that can be made about a man such as Menendez having free reign in perhaps the most corrupt country in the world.
Sen. Robert Menendez, his wife, Nadine Menendez and three other defendants; New Jersey businessmen Jose Uribe, Fred Daibes and Wael Hana have all been charged with corruption, alleging they used Sen. Menendez’s influence to obtain multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. All parties charged pleading not guilty.
In addition to these charges’ additional charges were brought against Sen. Menendez, of conspiring to act as a foreign agent for the Egyptian government. The trial is set to begin next May. This was stated by Reuters on October 12, 2023.
An alleged meeting at a Washington, D.C., steakhouse during which Menendez; his wife; Hana; and “Egyptian Official-3” allegedly requested his assistance to counter the Agriculture Department’s objections to IS EG Halal’s monopoly (IS EH Halal is the company Hana owns).
An alleged meeting in Menendez’s office with his wife, Hana, an Egyptian military official and other officials during which the discussion involved foreign military financing to Egypt, among other topics, the indictment says.
Since late 2022, questions were raised about whether Menendez or his wife accepted allowable gifts from an Edgewater, New Jersey, halal meat provider and whether an Egyptian firm received unwarranted favorable treatment because of his intervention. Subpoenas unrelated to the latter firm were issued in May 2023 to the mayor of North Bergen, New Jersey, Nicholas Sacco, and others. Investigators found $480,000 in cash and more than $100,000 worth of gold bars at Menendez’s home. On September 22, 2023, federal prosecutors in Manhattan charged five people, including Menendez and his wife Nadine, with corruption in a new indictment. Among the allegations in the indictment was that Menendez “provided sensitive U.S. Government information and took other steps that secretly aided the Government of Egypt”
The 39-page indictment alleges that Menendez used his position to pressure prosecutors in New Jersey who were involved in the cases of his friends Fred Daibes and Jose Uribe in exchange for financial gifts from the two men. According to the Senate Historical Office, Menendez is the first sitting senator to be indicted on two unrelated criminal matters. After the indictment, he gave up his position as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Over the following days countless Democratic Party politicians called for Menendez’s resignation. Menendez said:
On October 13, prosecutors filed new charges that Menendez “provided sensitive U.S. Government information and took other steps that secretly aided the Government of Egypt” and failed to register as an agent of a foreign power for over four years.
Sen. Menendez has been a New Jersey state’s senior Senator for years. New Jersey is a state that is well known to host a large number of Ukrainian diaspora. It is in this haven that Sen. Menendez drew his support. The majority of the 73,809 Ukrainians in New Jersey lived in the districts in which he represented during his tenure, that being the Representative of the 33rd district general assembly followed by representing the 13th Congressional district.
As his career grew, he became known as the “Boss of Hudson County,” the most populated county in New Jersey which is a breeding ground for neocon democrats who push for the forever wars that plague our world, all while they attempt to disguise themselves as peace seeking defenders of justice around the world. This exemplified in his support for using military force in Yugoslavia in the Kosovo War, his co-sponsorship of the Israel Anti-Boycott Act which prohibited American businesses, citizens, and allies from taking part in any boycott against Israel. Those found guilty faced up to 20 years in jail. His support for the United States Republic of Korea Civil Nuclear cooperation act, his strong opposition of garnering a Nuclear Arms Deal with Iran and his constant support for Israel and his wish for the reestablishment of the state of Israel which garnered him an award in 2014 from the American Friends of Likud.
Ultimately, he gains his position on the US Senate committee on foreign relations. It was his responsibility to shape the US national foreign policy. It was also during his time on this committee that his relationship with Hillary Clinton grew. In 2007 he was given the position of National Campaign Co-Chair for Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid. He also gave his unwavering support for her nomination as Secretary of State stating:
“Since 9/11, the United States has lost stature in the world. As a result, our ability to gather our international partners to fight terrorism, resist dictators and combat global warming has been dramatically weakened. Hillary Clinton is a woman of remarkable intellect, experience and judgment on matters involving our nation’s leadership role in the global community. She is exactly the person we need to lead the diplomatic effort it will take to return the United States to its place as a beacon of freedom and democracy. If we can restore our credibility and authority internationally, we can create greater security at home, and Hillary Clinton can help us achieve that.
“As the chairman of the subcommittee that oversees our foreign assistance programs and international climate change agreements, I look forward to working closely with Hillary Clinton to ensure that our assistance programs are fully effective and that the United States is fully committed to a post-2012 climate change protocol. I have high hopes for the State Department on these issues.”
Allegations of Corruption
The current charges are not the only charges or allegations brought against Sen. Menendez.
In 2006 he was accused of breaking the conflict-of-interest rules when he rented property to a nonprofit agency known as the North Hudson Community Action Corp. In 1998 Menendez had helped this agency gain designation as a Federally Qualified Health Center which allowed it to receive massive amounts of federal grants. It was claimed by multiple politicians that Sen. Menendez used this as a way to launder money he was given for his support for the North Hudson Community Action Corp. By way of collection of hundreds of thousands of dollars in “rent” from the Corporation.
In 2009 undercover FBI agent Robert Eringer wrote that Cuban Diplomats approached him in hopes to infiltrate Cuban exile organizations. Doing so because the Cuban government believed that Sen. Menendez and two other representatives were receiving illicit payments for their political support to further their causes.
In 2010 he was accused of taking bribes to write a letter to the Federal Reserve chairman to approve an acquisition that would rescue both New Jersey Bank and First Bank Americano who are major donors to Sen. Menendez. According to a federal deposit insurance corporation, the institutions had engaged in unsound banking practices, including operating without adequate supervision by its board of directors, excessive delinquent or bad loans, inadequate earnings, and insufficient coverage of its assets.
In 2012 Sen. Menendez blocked the nomination of US Magistrate Patty Schwartz to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals by Barack Obama. This was the only time a member of former President Obama’s own party who sought to block a judicial appointee. Sen. Menendez used a little-known use of senatorial courtesy that killed her appointment. Schwartz was close with numerous politicians, including the head of the 2006 corruption case in which Sen. Menendez was involved. This caused outrage amongst the Democratic Party and its supporters, Jonathan Turley, a constitutional law professor at George Washington University called what Sen. Menendez was doing was a: “highly abusive and dysfunctional practice.”
In 2013 reports surfaced that Sen. Menendez was being investigated by a Miami Federal Grand Jury for his role in advocating for the business interests of Salomon Melgen, one of his closest friends and a major donor. In April of 2015 the USDOJ indicted Menendez and Melgen in United States v. Menendez (3d Cir. 2016). The charges against Menendez included bribery, fraud, and making false statements. Menendez was accused of asking top State Department officials to pressure the Dominican Republic’s government to enforce a port-security contract that would benefit Melgen’s company. In return, Melgen promised to give $60,000 to Menendez’s campaign. Prosecutors also charged that Menendez acted as Melgen’s “personal senator”, helping obtain visas for several of Melgen’s girlfriends. In return, Menendez was accused of accepting a range of gifts from Melgen, including trips on Melgen’s private jet, three nights at a five-star Paris hotel, a round of golf at a private club in West Palm Beach, and access to an exclusive Dominican resort—some of which Menendez allegedly failed to report on financial disclosure forms. Melgen also donated a substantial amount of money to Menendez’s political campaigns, and prosecutors claim that $750,000 of those contributions were tied to personal benefits Menendez accepted.
Menendez voluntarily stepped down as ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee because of the indictment and his trial began on September 6, 2017. It eventually was declared a mistrial due to the jury’s inability to reach a verdict on any charges. The Justice Department announced it was dropping all charges against Menendez. The case was strongly shaped by McDonnell v. United States, the 2016 Supreme Court decision to vacate the corruption conviction of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, which narrowed the legal definition of public corruption and made it harder for prosecutors to prove that a political official engaged in bribery. As a side note, Melgen was convicted of 66 counts of fraud and in February 2018 was sentenced to 17 years in prison; former President Trump commuted his sentence in January 2021.
In 2015 Menendez was the subject of an investigation by The Intercept which stated that Menendez had received at very least two donations from the Peoples Mujahedin of Iran in 2012 when it was listed as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Once the organization was removed from this list because of its usefulness against the Iranian Government Menendez openly advocated for the radical group and was given at very least $25,000 in donations.
A 2018 a car accident involving his wife, Nadine Menendez, left a pedestrian dead. The case, which drew no charges or media coverage at the time, resurfaced with the current federal indictment, where prosecutors allege Menendez interfered with the prosecution of a New Jersey businessman in exchange for a Mercedes to replace his wife’s car.
Subsequent and previous smaller events involved Menendez as well. What can be established thus far is that Sen. Menendez has no issue in backdoor deals, bribes, money laundering and political misdeeds. What nobody has addressed is his role with Ukraine and the speculations that can be made about a man such as Menendez having free reign in perhaps the most corrupt country in the world.
By Jareth Copus