Sen. Bob Menendez, indicted yesterday on bribery charges, has just been removed from the foreign relations committee. I have a guess at the next conspiracy theory to come out of conservative Obama Derangement Syndrome. My guess is they’re going to claim the Justice Department is going after Menendez because of his opposition to Obama’s negotiations with Iran and Cuba.
I can’t pretend to be broken up about the prospect of losing Menendez, but the notion should be seen as silly on its face. First, the indictment seems pretty substantial. The text is after the jump. I don’t claim to know if there really is a quid pro quo as the indictment charges, or just two buddies doing favors for each other, and these buddies happen to be rich in one case and a senator in the other, but it’s clear these aren’t baseless allegations. Second, Menedez’s replacement will be appointed by a Republican governor, so losing Menendez, much as he’s no prize, does mean flipping the seat. If the DOJ was going to make up corruption charges to remove Obama’s opponents, I assume they’d go after Republicans first, especially Republican senators whose replacements would be appointed by Democratic governors. Instead, they indicted a Democrat with a Republican appointing the replacement. So no, it makes no sense that Democrats would seek some bogus grounds to remove him.
One of our senators, Amy Klobuchar, is the “senator 1” in the indictment. She received a donation from co-defendant Salomon Melgen that Menendez apparently asked him to make, allegedly as a favor to Menendez. She’s not accused of wrongdoing, but getting your colleague even mentioned in an indictment is a lousy way to endear yourself. Klobuchar returned the donation from Melgen, and a donation from Menendez. Returning someone’s donation is an monetary way of saying, “keep away from me you useless *&^%$”.
From Dog Gone: Ah, Eric, you’re too late. There were right wing conspiracy theories dating back to the first news announcements about Menendez being likely to be indicted, right around the time (slightly before, I believe) the stupid Senator letter to Iran was a ‘thing’ in the news.
The supposition was that the White House was using the DoJ as a politicized arm of the administration because Menendez was skeptical of any agreement with Iran.
Of course the only established, proven, verified politicizing of the DoJ that we’ve seen in the last half century was the Bush administration under Dubya and ‘Turdblossom’ Karl Rove, where the US Attorneys quit, and came forward to finger the White House for doing that. So it of course then follows that Republicans and other crazy tin foil hat wearing conservatives then project their own fellow ideologues bad behavior onto their opposition, without proof or evidence of any kind.
Good for A-Klo for keeping her skirts clean. She has class, and represents Minnesota well.
It’s looking like Menendez was corrupt, regardless of which side of the aisle he was on, and justice must take its course accordingly.