Five years after a 12-person jury said it was “hopelessly deadlocked” and Judge William Walls declared “there is no alternative but to declare a mistrial,” federal prosecutors have reopened a corruption case involving Sen. Robert “Bob” Menendez (D-NJ).
On Wednesday, Michael Soliman, an adviser to Menendez, told the New York Post that Menendez “is aware of an investigation” but “does not know the scope.”
Soliman added: “As always, should any official inquiries be made, the Senator is available to provide any assistance that is requested of him or his office.”
Semafor was the first to break the story. Their report notes that federal authorities indicted Menendez and a Florida ophthalmologist, Salomon Melgen, in 2015 for an “alleged arrangement under which the doctor provided flights on a private jet and lavish vacations in exchange for the senator’s help with government contracts and other public favors.”
The New York Post reported federal authorities believed Menendez received substantial “political donations” and perks “in exchange for helping Melgen secure lucrative government contacts and visas for his … three foreign girlfriends.”
According to the outlet, federal prosecutors have contacted individuals associated with the previous trial and “an entirely different group of people.” Reportedly, federal officials have issued at least one subpoena in the new case.
Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) testified on Menendez’s behalf during Menendez’s trial. The trial ended in a mistrial in November 2017; prosecutors officially dismissed the case in 2018 but resumed the investigation in September.
Semafor also noted that Dr. Melgen was “convicted of Medicare fraud in 2017 and was pardoned by outgoing President Donald Trump in 2021.”