N.J. Sen. Menendez indicted on federal corruption charges

The Garden State's senior senator, through a spokesperson, has denied any wrongdoing.

Mel Evans/AP/File
In this March 23, 2015 file photo, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-NJ speaks in Garwood, N.J. Menendez has been indicted on federal corruption charges.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D) of New Jersey was indicted on Wednesday on corruption charges, a US Justice Department spokesman said.

Menendez, 61, was indicted in New Jersey along with Florida ophthalmologist Dr. Salomon Melgen on one count of conspiracy, one count of violating the travel act, seven counts of bribery and three counts of honest services fraud, the DOJ spokesman said, adding the senator was also charged with one count of making false statements.

The agency said Menendez "allegedly accepted gifts from Melgen in exchange for using the power of his Senate office to benefit Melgen's financial and personal interests."

Menendez, the former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has denied any wrongdoing.

He will hold a news conference at 7 p.m. Eastern time in New Jersey.

For some time, federal authorities have been investigating his relationship with Melgen, a Democratic donor accused of overbilling the government's Medicare program.

Menendez, who is Cuban-American, is among the most senior Hispanic politicians in the country. He was re-elected to a second term in the Senate in 2012. He spent 13 years in the US House of Representatives.

"As we have said before, we believe all of the senator's actions have been appropriate and lawful, and the facts will ultimately confirm that," Tricia Enright, Menendez's communications director, said on March 6, responding to early reports that federal prosecutors were close to bringing charges against the senator.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.