Menendez, Thomas, McCarthy, and Trump: A Tough Week For A Blogger With Limited Time*
I average about one post per week. Events of the past week present a challenge to someone like me with limited time for blogging. A few of the events worthy of a deep dive include:
The Second Corruption Indictment of Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.)
Robert Menendez began dating Nadine Arslanian shortly after he “beat” 2015 federal corruption charges in 2017 with a hung jury and the DOJ said it would not try him again. He’d been accused of accepting close to $1 million in gifts and campaign contributions from a Palm Beach, Florida ophthalmologist in exchange for using his power in the senate to influence the outcome of ongoing contractual and Medicare billing disputes worth tens of millions of dollars to the doctor and to support the visa applications of several of the doctor’s girlfriends. Senator Menedez’s 2015 indictment.
Robert and Nadine eventually married. She introduced the senator to a longtime friend, Wael Hana, “an Egyptian American businessman in New Jersey. The future Ms. Menendez was eager to connect her influential boyfriend with Mr. Hana’s high-level connections in the Egyptian government.” Gold Bullion and Halal Meat: Inside the Menendez Investigation.
The new indictment alleges “off-books foreign dealings” in which the senator “used the authority conferred by his rank” as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee “and his leadership on matters of foreign relations to engage in acts that went far beyond constituent services and instead constituted bribery.”
In announcing the charges, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York pointed out that Senator Menendez’s “own website identifies certain kinds of acts benefiting constituents, such as pressuring a government agency to act in someone’s favor and intervening in a criminal case, as out of bounds. ‘But we allege that behind the scenes, Senator Menendez was doing those things for certain people — the people who were bribing him and his wife.’” Cash, gold bars, arms sales: How Bob Menendez met legal peril, again (emphasis added).
Prosecutors allege “a sprawling corruption scheme that would ensnare the halal meat industry, American military aid to Egypt and the appointment…