A sitting U. S. Senator is on trial for corruption and is involved in a sex scandal, but you wouldn’t know it.
Robert Menendez, (D-NJ) is on trial for 12 counts of bribery and corruption; his co-defendant, Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen, is on for 11 counts. The jury is deadlocked but will resume deliberations today.
CNN touched on four of the charges:
Official Act #1: Visas for Friends
Official Act #2: The Dominican Port Security Contract
Official Act #3: US Scanning Equipment Donation to the Dominican Republic
Official Act #4: Attempt to resolve Melgen’s $8.9 million billing dispute
The trial is new, but I was posting on How Bob Menendez sponsored a bill that would have benefited his biggest political donor four years ago. Four and a half years ago I was already saying that The real scandal in the Menendez story… is the relationship between Miami ophthalmologist Solomon Melgen and Menendez.
Back then the media was not interested in corruption charges involving Democrats goings-on, least of all in the Dominican Republic. Things changed when Menendez became ranking member of the Committee on Foreign Relations.
The Obama administration was displeased by Menendez’s positions on the Iran deal, Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, and by
Menendez’s support of dissidents from countries other than Cuba: He vigorously supports the State of Israel against Iran-sponsored Hamas in Gaza, which also figures in his support of international sanctions against the Iranian nuclear program – sanctions that Ecuador and Venezuela attempt to help Iran avoid.
Most of this was ignored. I know from experience (having blogged on LatAm for 13 years) that news involving overseas transactions generally elicit eyes glazing over.
The legal issue was, and is, as Glenn Reynolds pointed out then, a
CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Billion With a ‘B’: Did Menendez Provide Special Favors to HookerGate Donor? “Follow the money – if Melgen had a billion-dollar contract at stake, his ‘friendship’ with Senator Menendez was obviously more than a mere social acquaintance, which doesn’t necessarily mean that it was illegal for Menendez to pressure the administration to help Melgen enforce his Dominican port security contract. But how and why does a Florida opthalmologist become an international port-security mogul?”
The fact remains that the media would rather not cover the trial, and guess who’s to blame,
— Mike Ciandella ن (@MikeCiandella) November 14, 2017
Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog