Democratic Senator Robert “Bob” Menendez of New Jersey — and his wife — have been indicted by a Manhattan federal grand jury, according to court filings unsealed this Friday.
Prosecutors allege that the couple, say, the Menendez Crime Family, accepted lavish bribes in exchange for special favors. Specifically, the family is accused of holding “a corrupt relationship with three New Jersey associates and businessmen.” The senator also allegedly accepted “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in bribes, including bars of gold, mortgage payments, a luxury car and lots of cash.
The indictment alleges that the bribes were given in exchange for official acts that enriched businessmen in his state, as well as the Egyptian government. “Melendez provided sensitive US government information and took other steps that secretly aided the Government of Egypt,” the indictment reads.
Menendez, who serves as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair, though, is no stranger to controversy. Since 2013, accusations that he slept with underage hookers in a Dominican Republic villa have haunted him. Additionally, he was previously charged with trading his influence for campaign contributions from a Florida eye doctor, for which the trial lasted eleven weeks and ended with a deadlocked jury. The feds declined to retry the charges.
The DOJ has already seized hundred of thousands of dollars — and some gold bars that Menendez supposedly Googled the weight of upon returning home from Egypt. After more than a decade of investigations into the beleaguered senator, one can only wonder if anyone is benefitting from this attention-shifting story.
– Juan P. Villasmil
On our radar
UAW STRIKE WIDENS Union president Shawn Fain said autoworkers will broaden their strike to thirty-eight warehouses in twenty states over a lack of progress in reaching a deal with automakers.
WAPO’s PORTNOY HIT PIECE GOES LIVE The Washington Post published the much-anticipated article about Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy’s upcoming pizza festival. The “investigation,” wherein a WaPo reporter asked sponsors of the event if they agreed with Portnoy’s “misogynistic comments,” was pre-empted by Portnoy posting a video of a tense over-the-phone showdown with said reporter.
POLL: FREE SPEECH IS PARTISAN A new poll from RealClearPolitics found that about a third of Democrats think Americans have too much freedom, just over half believe that speech should be free under all circumstances, and 52 percent think the government should be able to censor content on social media in order to “protect national security.”
Abbott declares border surge an ‘invasion’
Texas governor Greg Abbott is taking matters into his own hands as the illegal immigrant crisis at the Mexican border continues to surge to record-breaking levels. And while he’s at it, Abbott is placing the blame where it belongs.
Taking to X Wednesday evening, Abbott wrote:
“I officially declared an invasion at our border because of Biden’s policies. We deployed the Texas National Guard, DPS & local law enforcement. We are building a border wall, razor wire & marine barriers. We are also repelling migrants.”
The post included a letter Abbott sent to President Biden in November 2022, in which Abbott outlined how the federal government’s “failure” forced him to invoke a constitutional clause enabling Texas to “protect its own territory against invasion by Mexican drug cartels.”
Abbott’s letter goes on to enumerate the ways in which Biden’s open-border policies has led to “catastrophic consequences.”
“Cities along the border have reported a new surge in migrants this week,” KVUE.com reports. “On Wednesday, the mayor of Eagle Pass signed an emergency declaration, asking for more resources. In El Paso, city leaders said within the last week they’ve encountered over 1,200 migrants per day.”
– Teresa Mull
Court kills Biden’s plan to block oil drilling
One of President Joe Biden’s latest attempts to cut back on domestic oil and gas drilling was struck down by a federal court on Thursday evening. In a major blow, the judge in the case accused Biden of weaponizing the Endangered Species Act for political purposes.
The Biden administration tried to limit the terms of an upcoming auction to sell the rights to drill in the Gulf of Mexico. The deal was supposed to originally include 73 million acres, but the Biden admin removed 6 million of those and restricted the movement of ships under the auspices of protecting a near-extinct whale species.
“The removal of millions of highly prospective acres and the imposition of excessive restrictions stemmed from a voluntary agreement with activist groups that circumvented the law, ignored science, and bypassed public input,” Erik Milito, president of the National Ocean Industries Association, said in response to the ruling.
The Biden administration‘because’s sudden concern for a species of whale that has fewer than 100 members remaining should also be weighed against the evidence that offshore wind farms can do major damage to all kinds of marine life.
– Amber Athey