Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) has long faced accusations of inappropriate relationships with the businesses that got him elected. Now the accusations is likely leading to corruption charges from Barack Obama’s Justice Department. This is how some of the media has treated the story:
From CBS News:
CNN: Menendez Promises He’s Not “Going Anywhere”
The Justice Department is preparing to bring criminal corruption charges against Sen. Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, alleging he used his Senate office to push the business interests of a Democratic donor and friend in exchange for gifts.
People briefed on the case say Attorney General Eric Holder has signed off on prosecutors’ request to proceed with charges, CNN first reported. An announcement could come within weeks. Prosecutors are under pressure in part because of the statute of limitation on some of the allegations.
Menendez told reporters Friday night he has “always conducted myself appropriately and in accordance with the law.”
He added: “And I am not going anywhere.”
Menendez said that because of an ongoing investigation he…(read more)
National Review Online: Menendez 4th Senator from NJ in Generation to Face Corruption Charges
The news doesn’t surprise anyone who knows ethically challenged New Jersey’s politics. Menendez is now the fourth Democratic U.S. Senator from New Jersey to wind up in legal hot water in just over a generation.
Here’s the rap sheet, er, rundown: Jon Corzine, a former chairman of Goldman Sachs, served as a New Jersey senator from 2001 to 2006, when he was elected governor for a single term. After being defeated by Chris Christie, an anti-corruption prosecutor, Corzine reentered the business world as head of MF Global, a derivatives trader. But within 18 months, some $1.6 billion went missing from customer accounts after the firm improperly used them to try to plug liquidity gaps. The government sued Corzine in 2013 for his role in MF Global’s collapse. Corzine denied any wrongdoing. The bankrupt company eventually had to pay $1.3 billion in fines. Corzine surfaced last summer co-hosting a Hamptons fundraiser with David Brock, the founder of Media Matters.
Robert Torricelli served a single term in the U.S. Senate from 1997 to 2003, during which he was best known for being the single vote that defeated a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution — an amendment he had previously supported and campaigned on. In 2000, he headed the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and proved to be an aggressive fundraiser. But his fundraising ties became his undoing in 2002, when it was revealed he had taken illegal contributions from a businessman connected to North Korea. He was admonished by the Senate Ethics Committee for accepting gifts ranging from a television to earrings, and was forced out of his re-election race in October 2002 after the deadline for ballot changes had passed. The New Jersey supreme court nonetheless ruled that former senator Frank Lautenberg could replace Torricelli, thus saving Democrats the seat.
Harrison Williams, a U.S. Senator from 1958 to 1982, was convicted of bribery and conspiracy charges in the Abscam scandal (immortalized in the recent movie American Hustle). After the Senate Ethics Committee recommended he be expelled, Williams resigned in 1982 and served two years in federal prison. Apparently, his political juice then dried up because he was unsuccessful in his efforts to later secure a pardon from President Bill Clinton. He died in 2001… (read more)