Tag Archives: federal indictment

Yep, Sen. Menendez ought to quit

The curious world of politics at times deprives politicians of the presumption of innocence granted to “ordinary citizens.”

Such is the case with U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., who’s been indicted on a host of corruption charges.

He ought to quit the Senate and pursue his defense as a private citizen.


A federal grand jury indicted Menendez on felony counts relating to his close relationship with an eye doctor, Soloman Melgen, who flew Menendez to the Dominican Republic on his private jet — trips that Menendez failed to disclose to congressional ethics officials.

There’s a lot of other allegations involving favors exchanged between the men. The amazing detail of the indictment suggests there’s considerable fire under all that smoke.

Is the senator guilty? I have no clue.

This much is clear: His service in the U.S. Senate will be clouded forever by this indictment. How in the world can this man conduct the public’s business when he is defending himself against a federal indictment?

Why does this matter to anyone outside of his home state? Well, he’s a federal official himself and he votes on laws that affect all Americans, even those of us out here in Flyover Country.

As the New York Time editorialized in calling for his resignation: “Mr. Menendez is evidently not in a hurry to get to the stage of contrition, having warned on Wednesday that he’s ‘not going anywhere.’ He would be doing a disservice to New Jersey by clinging to power as a disgraced politician. His colleagues in the Senate should demand that he step aside.”

Politics can be a dirty business. It doesn’t allow for the normal presumptions of innocence granted to non-politicians. That’s the way it is.


Menendez indictment seems oddly 'normal'

My proverbial trick knee is throbbing again.

It’s sending me a grim message that the federal indictment of Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey on corruption charges signals a hunt for others who are might be involved in the same kind of cozy relationships alleged in the 68-page indictment against the Democratic lawmaker.


You hear about these kinds of things occasionally involving senators and House members. They do favors for pals, develop relationships that raise a lot of questions — not to mention eyebrows.

Is Menendez alone in this? That trick knee of mine tells me “No. Not by a long shot.”

Menendez is the leading Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He’s stepping down from his leadership positions in the Senate until this matter gets resolved.

Also indicted is Dr. Solomon Melgen, a Florida ophthalmologist and longtime friend of Menendez. The indictment goes into great deal about the emails exchanged over several years between the men, suggesting alleged criminal activity, deal-making and favors.

It’s pretty salacious stuff.

I’m wondering this morning if all this will lead investigators down a lot of other paths, toward the doorsteps of other members of Congress.