The Corner

Politics & Policy

From Treason to Medicare Overbilling: Bob Menendez and a Short History of Senatorial Indictments

Democratic senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey was indicted this afternoon on 13 federal criminal counts, eight of them bribery. Indicted alongside him is ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen, who’s a big campaign donor to Menendez. Melgen has billed Medicare for tens of millions of dollars in procedures over the years; when that raised the suspicions of federal beancounters, Menendez is alleged to have helped him out in exchange for lavish gifts.

CQ Roll Call tweeted out a neat graphic of the twelve senators that had been indicted in the past. The first senator indicted was wrapped up in a treasonous plot; now our criminal senators are just helping raid health-care entitlements. Progress, maybe?

The most recent member of the upper chamber indicted specifically for bribery before Senator Menendez was . . . also a New Jersey Democrat.

Menendez, who was well known as a hawkish Democrat opposed to President Obama’s attempts to make a nuclear deal with Iran, has a press conference planned for tonight; he could take a leave of absence from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee or he could resign from office entirely.

Patrick Brennan was a senior communications official at the Department of Health and Human Services during the Trump administration and is former opinion editor of National Review Online.

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