Two members of Congress, one from each side of the aisle and each branch of Congress, are currently under criminal indictment, yet are steadfastly clinging to their roles as lawmakers. In this episode, we’ve got the dirt straight from the criminal indictments of Rep. George Santos of New York and Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey.
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Recommended Congressional Dish Episodes
Sen. Bob Menendez
“Senator or secret agent? How Robert Menendez is alleged to have been Egypt’s inside man.” Aysha Bagchi and Josh Meyer. November 13, 2023. USA Today.
“Behind a Senator’s Indictments, a Foreign Spy Service Works Washington.” Mark Mazzetti and Vivian Yee. October 14, 2023. The New York Times.
“Sen. Menendez is accused of being an unregistered agent of Egypt’s government in updated indictment.” Larry Neumeister. October 12, 2023. AP.
“Menendez Co-Defendant’s Curious Path From Bad Deals to a Meat Monopoly.” Nicole Hong et al. October 1, 2023. The New York Times.
“Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations,” [RL33003]. Jeremy M. Sharp. May 2, 2023. Congressional Research Service.
Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam
“Trump comment on ‘blowing up’ Nile Dam angers Ethiopia.” October 24, 2020. BBC News.
“U.S. Cuts Aid to Ethiopia Amid Nile Dam Dispute.” September 2, 2020. The New York Times.
“Nadine and Bob Menendez’s Flashy, Allegedly Corrupt, Romance.” Nina Burleigh. October 31, 2023. Intelligencer.
“Corruption Case Against Senator Menendez Ends in Mistrial.” Nick Corasaniti and Nate Schweber. November 16, 2017. The New York Times.
“Press Release: Senator Robert Menendez and Salomon Melgen Indicted for Conspiracy, Bribery and Honest Services Fraud.” April 1, 2015. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Public Affairs.
Initial Appointment to Senate
“Corzine Selects Menendez to Replace Him in Senate.” Marek Fuchs. December 9, 2005. The New York Times.
Rep. George Santos
“The Wealthiest Congressional Districts Of 2022.” Andrew DePietro. October 21, 2022. Forbes.
“How the IRS Gave Up Fighting Political Dark Money Groups.” Maya Miller. April 18, 2019. ProPublica.
House Ethics Committee Investigation
“Press Release: Statement of the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics Regarding Representative George Santos.” November 16, 2023. House Ethics Committee.
“Report in the matter of allegations relating to Representative George Santos.” November 9, 2023. House Ethics Committee, Investigative Subcommittee.
Brazil Fraud Case
“Santos, Brazilian prosecutors agree to deal in fraud case.” Andrew DePietro. October 21, 2022. Forbes.
“House Ethics chair moves to vote to expel Santos from Congress.” Kevin Freking. November 17, 2023. PBS NewsHour.
“Rep. George Santos survives effort to expel him from the House. But he still faces an ethics report.” Kevin Freking and Stephen Groves. November 2, 2023. AP.
October 28, 2023
Chat Box with David Cruz
3:25 Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ): You know, I have drawn from my personal credit union savings account, for the better part of 30 years, $400 every week in cash. And while that may seem old fashioned, some people may think of it as crazy, the reality is that the government has those records. They have the accounts that show that and they chose not to use it. So, you know, this is why I look forward to being in a position to actually speak to these issues, so that New Jerseyans will have a different set of facts than the ones they have right now.
5:20 Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ): I was not barred from going into an intelligence briefing. I still have all of my intelligence credentials.
7:20 Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ): I have not missed a beat. I’ve been here for votes and for hearings, and for pursuing the issues that are important to the people in New Jersey.
11:35 Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ): I still serve on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which gives me a perch on all of these global issues, and I am pursuing them in the same way as I did before. The difference is that I am not leading the [Senate Foreign Relations] Committee, but I am very much active in the Committee pursuing the things that I care about for New Jersey.
15:25 David Cruz: So the considerations that Egypt received, including getting a green light from your committee, the quid pro quo as it were, was Egypt behaving better in exchange for arms sales and other considerations? Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ): Each consideration depended upon the nature of the sale, whether it was for example, defensive equipment, whether it was equipment for the Sinai, where they are playing a vital role for security with Israel, which everybody — Democrats and Republicans — have called for. So these followed the traditional uses of both foreign aid and arms sales in a way to ensure that the US national security interests was pursued and that’s simply the case.
16:15 David Cruz: And in the case of one of your co-defendants receiving a contract to certify halal — Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ): I can’t answer for my co-defendant, you’ll have to ask him. David Cruz: Well, the question is, was it your relations with Egyptian officials that helped ease the way for him to get that contract? Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ): David, there’s a lot of suggestions. As a matter of fact, as I read the indictment, there’s a lot of inferences, but not a lot of facts at the end of the day. Those inferences try to play and create a storyline. That is the most negative pejorative storyline you can create. But when those get challenged by the facts, as we will, in the legal proceedings that both motions and trials will allow us to do, then we will see a totally different story.
May 27, 2021
Senate Foreign Relations Committee
- Robert F. Godec, Acting Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of African Affairs
- Sarah Charles, Assistant to the Administrator, Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, United States Agency for International Development
Sen. Bob Menenedez (D-NJ): Then, finally, I will make a comment. It is not a question. I have spoken to the Egyptians on more than one occasion on this issue at their behest. I have a real sense that if the GERD issue is not dealt with in a way that assures them of their concerns about the Nile flowing into what would be the heart of their water supply in Egypt that they will do what is necessary. I do not like red lines, but they have suggested that they have red lines and I take them at their word that they have red lines. Not that they are desirous of doing that. They also have a very strong expression that they hope to have a resolution peacefully, but that they have their own red lines. I hope that we are engaging in that very robustly because the last thing we need, in addition to everything that is going on in Ethiopia, in addition to the possibility of a famine, to the sexual violence that is taking place, is to then have a military conflict over the GERD. So I just seriously hope we are fully engaged and understand where the parties are and how serious some of them are of purpose.