View Full Version : Sen. Pumpkinhead Menendez Federal Bribery and Corruption trial updates

The Bobster
09-19-2017, 07:58 PM

Menendez also used doctor’s private jet for his gal pal: feds
By Kaja Whitehouse
September 19, 2017 | 7:05pm

Robert Menendez and Gwendolyn Beck

NEWARK, N.J. — Sen. Robert "Pumpkinhead" Menendez didn’t just accept flights on a wealthy pal’s private jet for himself — he also arranged for a gal pal to fly for free, the feds said on Tuesday.

In May 2010, Menendez asked Dr. Salomon Melgen to fly his girlfriend — financial advisor-turned-political candidate Gwendolyn Beck — to the Dominican Republic on the doctor’s dime, prosecutors said.

The senator, who was already on the Caribbean island at the time, made the request to the West Palm Beach ophthalmologist by email, FBI agent Alan Mohl testified in Newark federal court.

“Did he (Menendez) pay Dr. Melgen for Gwendolyn Beck’s travel?” prosecutor Monique Tara Abrashami asked Mohl.

“No,” the agent responded.

Beck, who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in Virginia in 2014, also flew on Melgen’s private jet with Menendez for an all-expense-paid weekend at the luxurious Tortuga Bay resort in Sept. 2010, records showed.

His wife of 29 years, Jane, died in 2005.

Menendez and Melgen, both 63, are on trial in Newark federal court on charges that the senator accepted lavish gifts — including free private jet flights, all-expense-paid vacations and campaign contributions — in exchange for official favors, including help with Melgen’s $8.9 million Medicare bill.

Besides Beck, Melgen’s private jet was also used to fly Menendez’s son, Robert "Pumkinhead" Jr., and his office manager, Maria Almeida, the feds said.

Almeida flew with the senator to the Dominican Republic on Melgen’s Hawker over Labor Day weekend in 2008, records showed. And Robert Jr. rode the jet with his dad in Aug. 2006, the feds said.

Some of the flights were directly tied to favors Menendez did for the doctor, according to the feds, including the Labor Day flight with Almeida, which they connected to Melgen’s request for help obtaining a tourist visa for his 22-year-old Dominican girlfriend.

“How long after the last flight did this email occur?” Abrashami asked agent Mohl about Melgen’s email seeking visa help in Oct. 2008.

“About six weeks,” the agent responded.

Menendez and Melgen have denied the charges, arguing that any gifts and favors exchanged were due to their decades-long friendship. :rolleyes:

On Wednesday, the government will show the jury a Feb. 2013 CNN interview of Menendez claiming that he only took Melgen’s plane a handful of times — and that the only reason he didn’t pay for the flights right away was because he forgot. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

“It unfortunately fell through the cracks,” Menendez told the CNN reporter, referring to two 2010 flights that were only discovered after they had been reported by the press. “When it came to my attention I personally paid for them,” Menendez said at the time.

The judge ordered the feds to cut a piece of the interview discussing allegations that the senator used prostitutes at Melgen’s Caribbean villa, however, as well as the senator’s tirade about “smear” campaign by “right-wing blogs.”

The prostitution claims, which the defense argued be shown to the jury, have since been debunked. :confused:

“There’s no way on God’s green earth I’m going to talk about smears and right-wing activity and let prostitutes come in,” Judge Walls scolded.

The Bobster
09-21-2017, 12:52 PM

Photos in Menendez bribery trial show senator was living large
By Kaja Whitehouse
September 21, 2017 | 12:06am | Updated


What a life!

Photos just released in Sen. Robert "Pumpkinhead" Menendez’s bribery trial show him living large with his wealthy eye doctor pal Salomon Melgen, including lounge-time by the pool, weekends in the Caribbean with his lady friend, and access to golf courses with ocean views.

The photos are evidence in the Newark federal trial but were not made public until this week, when the judge ordered that they be released following a letter by The Post’s lawyers.

Photos released by the defense show the New Jersey senator enjoying dinner with his then-girlfriend, Gwendolyn Beck, at Melgen’s private villa in the Dominican Republic. The feds have accused Menendez, 63, of bringing Beck, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for congress in 2014, to the Dominican Republic on Melgen’s dime twice.

Another defense photo shows Menendez lounging by the pool with Melgen at his villa, which sits in a 7,000-acre gated community that includes five golf courses and a marina dotted with yachts.

The government, meanwhile, has introduced as evidence glossy photos showcasing Melgen’s two private jets, the gated Caribbean resort where he owned a vacation home and another resort known as Tortuga Bay where he once treated Menendez and Beck to a weekend getaway, according to the feds.

The government claims Melgen, 63, doled out gifts — including free private jet flights and campaign contributions — in exchange for official favors from Menendez, including help getting visas for the ophthalmologist’s foreign girlfriends.

The men insist that any gifts and favors exchanged were the result of their decades-long friendship.

The defense has argued their photos present a more modest look at Melgen’s villa, backing their theory that the two men are simply good friends who helped each other out from time to time.

“This isn’t a bribe. This is a family dinner,” Melgen’s lawyer, Kirk Ogrosky, told the jury about the photo of the group dinner at Melgen’s home.

“Look, it’s nice. It’s nice down there. Don’t get me wrong. But this is a family dinner. This is not a bribe. And what would happen is they would have dinner and then the senator and the doctor would go out back and have a cigar and hang out,” Ogrosky told the jury.

On Wednesday, the feds used Menendez’s Senate financial disclosure forms to show that he failed to disclose more than a dozen lavish gifts he received from Melgen — including the free flights, a chauffeured car and a Paris hotel.

“Did Senator Menendez report the April 2010 stay at the Park Hyatt hotel that Dr. Melgan gave him?” prosecutor Monique Tara Abrashami asked FBI agent Alan Mohl.

“No,” Mohl responded.