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 May 27, 2023

Federal investigation into Senator Bob Menendez takes new turn

Federal investigators are now looking into whether U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) received extravagant gifts in exchange for actions taken by him in his capacity as a U.S. Senator.

NBC News reports:

The Department of Justice [DOJ] is investigating whether expensive gifts were given to New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez and his wife, including a Mercedes-Benz, a luxury D.C. apartment, money, and jewelry, sources familiar with the matter said.

The gifts, altogether, are said to be worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Federal investigators, according to NBC's sources, are currently looking into whether the gifts came from either the owner or associates of IS EG Halal, an Edgewater, New Jersey, meat business.

NBC reports:

[IS EG Halal is a] business that won a controversial exclusive contract to perform Halal meat certification with the Egyptian government — even though U.S. Department of Agriculture officials complained that the firm had no previous experience in this field.

In fact, the business is said to be run by a Christian individual who has "little prior experience" when it comes to the Islamic certification of international meat exports and imports.

Accordingly, suspicions about how IS EG Halal managed to obtain this exclusive contract are high.

Peter Paradis, the former deputy assistant inspector general at the USDA, went so far as to say Halal's obtaining of the contract "defies logic." He added, "This corporation has no track record of doing these types of certifications — and yet the country in question earmarks them as the sole entity to perform that task?"

At this point, it does not appear as though anything has been confirmed. But, what can be confirmed is the fact that Menendez is the chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and, in that capacity, Menendez oversees the billions of dollars in aid that is sent to Egypt.

It is also known that Menendez did not report the gifts on his Senate disclosure forms. And, investigators are currently looking to see if Menendez and his wife reported the gifts on their tax filings. We'll see.

Menendez and IS EG Halal have both denied any wrongdoing.

In the past decade, Menendez has faced multiple investigations. This includes a 2015 investigation into whether Menendez accepted lucrative items from Florida physician Salomon Melgen in exchange for political favors.

In October 2022, after the jury in the case failed to reach a verdict, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York launched a new investigation into Menendez. This is the same investigation that is ongoing.

Menendez has consistently denied doing anything wrong.

Written By:
Robert Ayers

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