So it seems that yet another politician is being brought up on charges of corruption. No surprise to anyone and the fact that the politician in question is none other than Senator Robert Menendez (D – NJ), whose 40 year political career has been littered with allegations of corruption, is likely no surprise either, especially to the constituents of his state. Politics is a dirty game, to say the least, and there are rules to the game. Menendez better than most knows that when playing the political game, you make friends, you make enemies, and sometimes you pay.
Recently, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a controversial trip to the United States to make a speech before Congress, furthering the rift between Republicans (and some Democrats) and the Obama administration. But some believe that Menendez’s legal troubles, coming right on the heels of the Netanyahu speech, are a result of his adamant support of Israel and often critical attitude toward the White House.
Robert “Bob” Menendez is the senior United States Senator from New Jersey. He was first appointed to the Senate in January 2006, and was elected Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in January 2013. As stated above, his career has had its fair share of controversy. The accusations have ranged from soliciting prostitutes to inappropriately using his political influence, including being under investigation by the FBI for allegedly leveraging that same influence on behalf of two accused criminals from Ecuador. The alleged influence peddling was in exchange for campaign contributions. Again, some folks are not surprised by the accusations, but others are also not surprised by the possibility that the latest charges by the Justice Department are in retaliation for Menendez’s backing of Netanyahu and Israel.
In March 2013, while giving his first major speech as Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Menendez vowed that “there will never be any daylight between the United States and Israel on my watch,” and that he would vigorously defend Israel and her interests using the powers of his office. He is obviously not afraid to take on members of his own party – including the President of the United States. Just hours after the President’s State of the Union address, Menendez is said to have told two top Obama administration officials that what they’re saying, “sounds like talking points straight from Tehran.”