The U.S. Department of Justice is currently considering pressing criminal charges against New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez following an extensive corruption investigation.
According to a new report by The Wall Street Journal, prosecutors are slated to convene with the embattled Garden State politician in the coming weeks, suggesting that the former party have amassed the necessary evidence for charges. Such end-phase meetings are standard procedure, allowing defense lawyers an opportunity to present arguments against the levying of charges on their clients.
Public attention was drawn to the corruption allegations surrounding Menendez last October. The focal point of the investigation was the manner in which a New Jersey-based halal meat company, IS EG Halal, managed to secure an exclusive global contract with Egypt for certifying halal exports. This occurred as contracts of several other firms were abruptly terminated in 2019. Numerous insiders have relayed to the media that the U.S. Agriculture Department expressed reservations about the legitimacy of the significant contract awarded to a relatively inexperienced company.
It has been noted that Menendez’s wife maintains a close relationship with the owners of the company. Menendez’s pivotal role as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee provides him with control over substantial funds designated for weapons sales to Egypt.
The diminutive senator has an extensive history of alleged corruption. Previously, Menendez faced indictment on bribery charges for allegedly receiving luxury vacations, golf outings, campaign contributions and lavish flights from Florida physician Salomon Melgen in return for political favors. A federal jury in Florida subsequently convicted Melgen on a staggering 67 charges, accusing him of orchestrating a grand scheme defrauding Medicare of up to $105 million.
The catalyst for the probe into Menendez’s activities was a tip-off in 2012, suggesting his involvement with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic. The jury, however, was divided on the allegations, resulting in a mistrial.
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