A new federal investigation of Dem. Sen. Bob Menendez is underway

CBS News reports that Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) is, once again, being investigated by the federal government. 

This time, the investigation is being led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan, New York. But, according to Semafor, the outlet that first published this information, this new investigation is similar to the legal troubles that Menedez ran into back in 2015.

Background

A federal investigation took place in 2015 that resulted in the indictment of both Menendez and a Florida eye doctor named Salomon Melgen.

The indictment alleged corruption, namely, that Menendez and Melgen had an arrangement in which Melgen would provide private jet flights and vacations to Menedez in exchange for government contracts and other favors from Menendez.

At trial, Menendez and his legal team claimed that he and Melgen were simply good friends, and some members of the jury appeared to buy this story, as the jury was unable to reach the unanimous verdict required to convict Menedez and Melgen on the corruption charges.

The federal government decided not to retry Menendez in 2018.

The new investigation

Not a lot is being reported about this new investigation other than that it is happening and that it is similar to the 2015 investigation.

Semafor reports:

The two people familiar with the investigation, one who is directly connected to the investigation and the other a New Jersey lawyer who has been told of the case, said that the broad outlines of the new inquiry are similar to the 2017 case. Both said that the new investigation involves an entirely different group of people, however.

Thus far, the outlet reports that “prosecutors in the Southern District of New York have contacted people connected to Menendez in recent weeks,” and that these prosecutors “have sent at least one subpoena in the case.”

Menedez’s statement

Menedez has released a statement on the matter via advisor Michael Soliman.

“Senator Menendez is aware of an investigation that was reported today,” Soliman said. “However, he does not know the scope of the investigation.”

“As always,” Soliman added, “should any official inquiries be made, the senator is available to provide any assistance that is requested of him or his office.”

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