Nets Ignore Dem. Menendez Allegedly Interfering in Foreign Affairs

During a stunning Day 13 in the federal corruption and bribery trial of Democratic New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez and a close friend, Dr. Salomon Melgen, prosecutors argued to the jury that the duo conspired to manipulate a U.S. government shipment to the Dominican Republic. But despite the shocking revelations, none of the networks in the Big Three (ABC, CBS, and NBC) decided to mention it to their viewers.

“The welcome has not been nearly so supportive for Senator Bob Menendez,” joked Fox News Anchor Bret Baier during Special Report as he was wrapping up a story on GOP Rep. Steve Scalice’s return to Congress. “The New Jersey Democrat faces a gauntlet of aggressive media each day as he goes to his corruption and bribery trial.”

Baier handed the segment off to Correspondent Brian Llenas, who reported how federal prosecutors alleged Menendez tied to have the U.S. and Dominican governments use his friend’s security firm. “The prosecution alleges Senator Menendez trying to get the Dominican Republic government to use Melgen’s port security equipment and to reject a U.S. donation of screening equipment in the process,” Llenas reported.

As reported by Llenas, the accusation can be backed up with witness testimony:

On Thursday, a former U.S. Customs and Border Patrol liaison officer, Stephanie Tolton testified about an odd email request from a staffer in Menendez's office in 2013 asking the agency to quote: “Consider holding a shipment of scanning equipment to the D.R.” Tolton testified the request was unusual. Quote: "If we had deemed it necessary to provide this equipment, I find it odd a senator would ask us to stop doing that."

In addition to that Tolton’s testimony, the prosecution had a receipt for a ritzy golf club in Florida showing that Menendez and Melgen were together the day before the request was made.

And if that wasn’t enough, according to Llenas, “Email exchanges from 2012 claim to show the same day Melgen’s family promise to donate $60,000 to the Menendez campaign, the Senator asked for a meeting with William Brownfield, assistant secretary of the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Department.”

“Brownfield works with the Dominican Republic government to keep ports secure,” the Fox News correspondent added.

The failure by the networks to mention this latest development in the Menendez trial is no real surprise. Since the very beginning, they’ve all but instituted a complete blackout on the subject. At one point NBC News actually labeled Menendez as a Republican.

Transcript below:

Fox News Channel
Special Report
September 28, 2017
6:33:17 PM Eastern

BRET BAIER: The welcome has not been nearly so supportive for Senator Bob Menendez. The New Jersey Democrat faces a gauntlet of aggressive media each day as he goes to his corruption and bribery trial. Correspondent Brian Llenas reports tonight from Newark.

[Cuts to video]

BRIAN LLENAS: Senator if you are convicted will you resign?

Day 13 of the corruption and bribery trial of Democratic Senator Bob Menendez included testimony from a former government employee who spoke about what she believed was an unusual request by Menendez's office on behalf of his friend and donor, Dr. Salomon Melgen. Both men are facing up to 15 years in prison if convicted of felony bribery.

The prosecution alleges Menendez used political influence to help the Dr. Melgen’s business interests in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations, lavish vacations, and private flights. One of those business interests was Melgen’s Itsy security company. The prosecution alleges Senator Menendez trying to get the Dominican Republic government to use Melgen’s port security equipment and to reject a U.S. donation of screening equipment in the process.

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On Thursday, a former U.S. Customs and Border Patrol liaison officer, Stephanie Tolton testified about an odd email request from a staffer in Menendez's office in 2013 asking the agency to quote: “Consider holding a shipment of scanning equipment to the D.R.” Tolton testified the request was unusual. Quote: "If we had deemed it necessary to provide this equipment, I find it odd a senator would ask us to stop doing that."

Then the prosecution showed the jury a receipt for Banyan Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, showing Menendez and Melgen had played golf the day before Menendez's office sent the email to CBP intervening bath of Melgen’s company.

Email exchanges from 2012 claim to show the same day Melgen’s family promise to donate $60,000 to the Menendez campaign, the Senator asked for a meeting with William Brownfield, assistant secretary of the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Department. Brownfield works with the Dominican Republic government to keep ports secure.

[Cuts back to live]

After today’s day in court, Menendez went to Newark international airport where he boarded a commercial flight to Puerto Rico to assess the situation after Hurricane Maria. Bret.

BAIER: Brian, thank you.

 


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