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High-Handed Corruption: the Menendez File (Counterpunch)


High-Handed Corruption: the Menendez File – By Eve Ottenberg (Counterpunch) / Dec 15, 2023

New Jersey Senator Bob “Googling Gold Ingots” Menendez is in hot water. He’s been in hot water ever since September, when federal investigators brought bribery charges against him. The bribes were allegedly paid by Wael Hanna and two others to Menendez and his wife, Nadine, for benefits to Egypt, including continued military aid. Democrat Menendez had the good sense to step down from his chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but as of December, he still defies those in Congress and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, who have urged him to resign from the Senate altogether.

So the 17-year Senator Menendez has not yet had the decency to retire from public life. Senator Al Franken made an off-color joke and was booted from the senate chamber by ferociously offended #Me-Too-ers. Menendez, who reportedly took furnishings, a luxury convertible, gold bars, checks and cash from foreign businessmen in exchange for allegedly betraying his country still not only dares to show his face in the Senate but brazenly refuses to leave.

Then on December 1, Pennsylvania Democratic senator John Fetterman renewed his call for the Senate to expel Menendez. This exhortation came in the wake of the ejection from Congress of New York GOP representative George Santos, with Fetterman insisting convincingly that the allegations against Menendez are “more sinister” than those facing Santos. “He needs to go,” Fetterman said of Menendez on ABC’s “The View.” “And if you are going to expel Santos, how can you allow somebody like Menendez to remain in the Senate?” Arguably Santos should not have been expelled for infractions like claiming to have landed on the moon. Santos was the House GOPS’s well-deserved booby-prize. The same is not true of Menendez. His alleged crimes are serious and dangerous. So is this whole corruption scandal. No matter how accustomed they are to deferring to senior senator Menendez, the chamber’s Dems need to wake up and ditch him.

CONTINUE > https://www.counterpunch.org/2023/12/15/high-handed-corruption-the-menendez-file/


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