Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) is a real piece of work. A reminder of his character (lack thereof) from Politico:
The Senate Ethics Committee has formally admonished Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.) over his relationship with a close friend and donor, Dr. Salomon Melgen.
This comes as Menendez — finally clear of a years-long federal criminal case — is trying to win reelection [he won—it’s New Jersey] in November to a third Senate term. The Ethics Committee’s move is a blow to Menendez, but it may not be enough to derail his reelection effort.
In a letter released on Thursday, the Ethics panel declared Menendez ‘knowingly and repeatedly accepted gifts of significant value from Dr. Melgen without obtaining required Committee approval, and that you failed to publicly disclose certain gifts as required by Senate Rule and federal law. Additionally, while accepting these gifts, you used your position as a Member of the Senate to advance Dr. Melgen’s personal and business interests.
Golly! Isn’t that corruption? Abuse of office? Perhaps even—dare I say it?—a crime?
The Ethics Committee’s letter is signed by all six senators on the panel, including three Democrats — Sens. Chris Coons (Del.), Brian Schatz (Hawaii) and Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.).
In a statement, Menendez’s lawyer said the New Jersey Democrat was relieved the case is over, but also noted Menendez’s defense team didn’t agree with the Ethics Committee’s findings. Menendez will now have to repay Melgen for some of the cost of stays in the Dominican Republic and other improper gifts, in addition to the more than $58,000 that Menendez ready paid for private jet flights.
An admonishment amounts to little more than saying “naughty Senator; don’t embarrass us like this again or we will admonish you a second time.” However, for a body that has had a long-standing secret slush fund for paying off victims of senatorial sexual harassment, even wagging a finger and saying “naughty Senator,” is a significant event. Ted Kennedy, known as the “Lion of the Senate,” did most of his roaring while engaged in drunken assaults on waitresses and other women. Mary Jo Kopechne was not available for comment.
Which brings us to today. Remember, gentle readers, how the Media has bristled at the term “fake News”? “Democracy dies in darkness?”
“We’re the guardians of democracy?” Why, anyone uttering a discouraging word about the noble press is destroying the country, and “Trump! TRUMP!! TRUMP!!!” How dare anyone criticize the most important element of our government and constitutional system, and the most moral and upright human beings on the planet! Well, OK, so the press isn’t a part of our government and constitutional system, they’re much more important than that, but you know what I mean. One can count on Democrats, like Senator Menendez, to uphold the sanctity of the press, as Fox News reports:
Henry Rodgers, the Daily Caller’s Capitol Hill reporter, approached the senator at a subway station and asked him if he supported Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s legislative proposal.
Menendez avoided the question and asked where Rodgers worked. Rodgers said that when he told Menendez he worked for the Daily Caller, the Democrat responded by saying he would not answer any questions. An intern who was with Rodgers asked a follow-up question, and tensions apparently rose.
I am wondering why you won’t answer questions on the Green New Deal?’ Rodgers asked.
‘I won’t answer questions to the Daily Caller, period! You’re trash,’ Menendez responded.
‘Why do you think we’re trash, sir?’ the reporter followed.
‘Don’t keep harassing me anymore or I’ll race to the Capitol Police,’ the New Jersey Democrat threatened.
But the importance of the press! Democracy dies in darkness! Isn’t Menendez an appropriate shade of Democrat green?
Rodgers told Fox News he had no prior interaction with Menendez and was working on a story that was to include the responses of Senate Democrats regarding the Green New Deal.
Numerous members of Menendez’s office, including his communications director, Tricia Enright, defended the senator and trashed what one described as ‘gotcha journalism.
I can certainly see Enright’s point. Rodgers, in a public place, asked Menendez a question about a policy most of the Democrats running for president have embraced…uh…but…OK, I’m having trouble figuring out how that’s “gotcha journalism.” Roger’s didn’t ask Menendez about his deplorable basketful of corrupt practices. He just asked a policy question any Senator should be able to address.
Oh, wait a minute; I get it now. Rodgers writes for a news agency that isn’t an active propaganda arm of the Democrat Party, so it’s perfectly legitimate for Menendez to threaten to call the cops and plunge democracy into darkness. He’s a Democrat, and when democrats do it, it’s different, because Trump, and most of all, because shut up.
Menendez remains a piece of work.