The federal criminal corruption investigation into Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NY), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has recently expanded after another round of grand jury subpoenas were sent out this week.
NBC News reported that the new criminal investigation into Menendez, which first made news last October, originally centered around how IS EG Halal, a New Jersey-based halal meat business, won “an exclusive worldwide contract with Egypt to certify halal exports — as numerous other firms’ contracts were suddenly canceled in 2019.”
Numerous sources told the publication that the U.S. Agriculture Department was suspicious over how the large contract was awarded to the company which had “little experience.”
Menendez’s wife is friends with the company’s owners, the report said, and the senator’s position as chairman on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee puts him in charge of billions of dollars in weapons sales to Egypt.
However, the latest subpoenas that were issued in the criminal investigation are not related to allegations involving the meat company and Menendez, the report said.
Sources told the publication that the North Bergen Democrat Mayor Nicholas Sacco was one of the people who received a subpoena in this last batch to go out. The report described Sacco as a “powerful” politician in New Jersey.
The subpoena seeks information about “certain legislative changes in New Jersey,” the report said, but no further details were available.
In 2015, Menendez was indicted on bribery charges for allegedly accepting “luxury vacations, golf outings, campaign donations and expensive flights” from Florida physician Salomon Melgen in exchange for political favors. A federal jury in Florida convicted Melgen in April of “67 charges for operating what prosecutors called a massive scheme that robbed Medicare out of as much as $105 million,” the Palm Beach Post reported.
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