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Menendez has set a new low for blatant corruption in the US | New York Post

The bribery trial of senior New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez has it all. Screen Shot 2017-09-15 at 18.41.26

Menendez is facing charges that he sold his US Senate office to a Palm Beach, Fla., eye doctor, his co-defendant Salomon Melgen, for bribes in the form of private jets stocked with Menendez’s favorite beverages, a private villa at one of the lushest resorts in the Caribbean, and a Paris hotel suite for which Melgen spent 650,000 American Express points.

The two men met in 1993 when Melgen contributed $500 to Menendez’s first House re-election campaign at a South Florida fundraiser — his first political contribution. In the decades since, Melgen became a major high-dollar Democratic donor, and when Menendez was appointed to the Senate in 2006, they already had an extraordinarily close relationship.

In return, Menendez allegedly got Melgen visas for his girlfriends, pressured the State Department to deliver a Dominican port-security contract and pressed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to approve the massive Medicare overbilling scheme that kept the good times rolling.

 

One of the girlfriends, Rosiell Polanco, was a 22-year-old model when she dated Melgen, who is married and 35 years her senior. She testified that she and her younger sister had been denied visas before Menendez’s intervention. Menendez e-mailed his staff: “Call ambassador ASAP.” They were re-interviewed and approved.

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