Sen. Robert Menendez Indicted for Bribery, Fraud

Is only the second U.S. senator to face corruption charges in 20 years.

Courtesy of the Office of Sen. Menendez

Courtesy of the Office of Sen. Menendez

The Associated Press is reporting that Sen. Robert Menendez, the New Jersey Democrat, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Newark. The full indictment is embedded below.

Washington Post:

After a more than two-year investigation, Menendez faces charges for what prosecutors believe were improper efforts by Menendez to help Salomon Melgen, a Florida-based doctor who was also a contributor to Menendez’s campaigns and his longtime friend. Menendez intervened on Melgen’s behalf in a dispute with the federal regulators over Medicare charges and in a bid by Melgen to secure a port security contract in the Dominican Republic.

Menendez would be only the second U.S. senator to face a federal corruption indictment in the last 20 years. He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and suggested that any gifts he received from Melgen were part of a close, personal friendship that dates back to the early 1990s.


Menendez is the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and a key player on Iran and Cuba policy.

The New Jersey Democrat is expected to be arraigned in federal court as early as Thursday.

Menendez, a 61-year-old native New Yorker of Cuban heritage, was first elected to Congress in 1992, and he has become one of the most influential Hispanic leaders on Capitol Hill.

Inky’s Jonathan Tamari weighs in:

AP says:

The indictment charged the New Jersey Democrat with 14 counts, including bribery and conspiracy, over his ties to Dr. Salomon Melgen, a wealthy doctor and the politician’s longtime friend.

Menendez becomes the first sitting U.S. senator to face indictment since then-Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, in 2008. Stevens was found guilty of concealing gifts from donors on financial disclosure statements, but the Justice Department later dropped the case after admitting that prosecutors failed to turn over evidence that would have been favorable to his defense.