A number of high-ranking Democratic senators have accepted campaign cash from the political action committee of a fellow senator who is now on trail for corruption charges, records show.
Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez (N.J.) is facing 12 counts of corruption charges that include bribery allegations. Prosecutors said Menendez accepted bribes from Dr. Salomon Melgen, a previous donor to the New Jersey senator’s campaign. Menendez, who took flights on Melgen’s private jet to the Dominican Republic, lobbied in favor of Melgen to settle a multi-million dollar billing dispute with the government.
“The defendants’ bribery scheme began shortly after Menendez’s elevation to the Senate in 2006, when Melgen began a pattern of treating Menendez to weekend and weeklong getaways in the Dominican Republic that would continue for the next several years,” prosecutors said in a filing. “For the first four years of the corruption scheme, the all-expense paid trips Melgen provided often included free roundtrip flights on Melgen’s private jet for Menendez and his various guests. When the doctor’s private jet was unavailable, Melgen supplied equally luxurious travel for the Senator.”
A number of top Democratic senators have accepted campaign cash from Menendez this year. Menendez contributed tens of thousands to his Democratic colleagues from the New Millennium PAC, the senator’s political action committee.
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