The U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics issued a four page letter today, signed by all six committee members, three Democrats and three Republicans, that “several admonished” New Jersey’s senior senator for his violations of Senate ethics rules, federal law and his conduct which reflected discredit on the Senate.
The committee found that Menendez accepted valuable gifts from Dr. Salomon Melgen including travel on private jets and commercial airlines, luxury hotel stays and vacations at Melgen’s luxurious villa in the Dominican Republic without Committee approval and without disclosing the gifts as required by law.
They found that Menendez used his office to advance Melgan’s personal and business interests.
The committee found that Menendez:
Intervened in a matter where the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
(CMS) found that Dr. Melgen had overbilled Medicare by more than $8.9 million.
This intervention included persistent advocacy before multiple senior CMS officials over the course of three years, reaching, at its height, your meeting with the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Advocated before federal agencies on behalf of ICSSI, a port security services company owned by Dr. Melgen. This advocacy included an in-person meeting with a senior official in which you requested that the U.S. Department of State
intervene in a contract dispute between ICSSI and the Dominican Republic. During this meeting, you threatened to hold a public hearing and to call the official to testify if the State Department failed to resolve the matter. You also
acted to protect ICSSI’s contract to provide scanning services in the Dominican Republic by requesting that U.S. Customs and Border Protection delay its planned donation of screening equipment.
Assisted foreign nationals obtain visas to visit Dr. Melgen in the United States, including, in one case, appealing directly to a U.S. ambassador to seek reconsideration of a visa denial.
The committee ruled that Menendez must repay the fair market value of the gifts he received that he has not already repaid and that he must amend his Financial Disclosure Reports.
National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Bob Salera said, “Bob Menendez’s scandalous conduct laid out in this letter should outrage every New Jersey voter. The Senate Ethics Committee found what was already crystal clear from Menendez’s criminal trial – Bob Menendez is a crook and an embarrassment.”
Bob Hugin, the presumptive GOP nominee for Menendez’s seat in the Senate, called on the senator to resign.
Senator Robert Menendez - Public Letter of Admonition
Both Democrats and Republicans that make up the Bipartisan Senate Ethics Committee have found that @SenatorMenendez violated Federal law and ethics rules. He is an embarrassment to our state and it is time for him to resign. #NJSen https://t.co/J9ooFVVgI9
— BobHugin (@BobHugin) April 26, 2018