Even Harry Reid is involved in the felony bribery and corruption trial against Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ). Prosecutors just disclosed that Reid himself approached the Obama White House in 2011 to try and help Menendez’s wealthy donor after he was caught defrauding Medicare. A year later, the donor flew Reid on his private plane and gave Reid’s Senate Majority PAC $600,000. This follows prior reporting that Reid met with then-HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to push for policies favorable to the donor.
Speaking of the Obama White House, his appointees are piling on Menendez, too…
- Obama’s ethics chief Walter Shaub is saying “the allegations are serious”
- Obama’s U.S. Attorney points out that the case against Menendez “was aggressively pursued by a Dem US Atty”
Harry Reid Sought White House Help for Menendez Donor, DOJ Says
David Voreacos & Neil Weinberg
August 31, 2017 – 8:22 AM
- Obama staffer wouldn’t intervene after Reid’s phone call: U.S.
- Senator and Florida doctor face corruption trial next week
U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, in trying to help a campaign donor who was accused of overbilling the government, enlisted then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to “amplify the pressure” on the Obama administration, the Justice Department said.
Reid contacted a White House staffer, who declined to help, prosecutors disclosed Wednesday in a court filing.
Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, faces a corruption trial next week with Salomon Melgen, a Florida eye doctor and close friend accused of bribing him with hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions and lavish trips in exchange for his help on government disputes.
Menendez “enlisted” Reid in November 2011 to help pressure the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, known as CMS, to reverse its ruling that Melgen owed $8.9 million for overbilling Medicare. Reid contacted a White House deputy chief of staff, prosecutors said.
“At that time, the Majority Leader reached out to the White House Deputy Chief of Staff, informing her that Menendez was upset about how a Florida ophthalmologist was being treated by CMS and asking that she call the agency,” according to the 30-page filing.
But the staffer, who wasn’t identified, “demurred” after “recognizing the matter involved a dispute between a single doctor and an administrative agency,” according to prosecutors. The filing doesn’t offer further details about what Menendez allegedly asked Reid to do. Reid isn’t accused of wrongdoing in the case.
Melgen and Reid had their own relationship. Prosecutors say Melgen gave $600,000 in 2012 to Majority PAC, a political action committee intended to expand the Democratic majority in the Senate. The money was earmarked for Menendez’s electoral race in 2012, prosecutors say. In June 2012, Melgen flew Reid on his company’s private plane from Washington to Boston and back for a Senate Majority PAC event, Politico has reported.
The U.S. indictment against Menendez and Melgen details how Menendez and Reid met with Kathleen Sebelius, then-secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to discuss policies that affected Melgen. That meeting on Aug. 2, 2012, took place in Reid’s Capitol office, according to Wednesday’s filing.
The filing includes some fresh flourishes about the luxury trips that Menendez is accused of taking on Melgen’s tab. The Dominican resort where Melgen had a villa is a “tranquil Caribbean enclave, venerated for its seclusion” that attracted “luminaries in sports, entertainment and business, including Beyonce, Jay-Z, Jennifer Lopez, Richard Branson and Bill Gates,” prosecutors said.
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Government Accountability Cronyism