Monday, October 24, 2011

Feds Close Probe into Senator Robert Menendez, Report Says

Feds Close Probe into Senator Robert Menendez, Report Says; Latino FOXNews (yes, FOX does pander to divisiveness.)

A federal investigation into Robert Menendez's relationship with a non-profit organization in New Jersey has come to an end – though it remains unclear if the U.S. senator has been cleared of any wrongdoing, according to a report.

The Star-Ledger of Newark said prosecutors concluded their five-year probe into Menendez's affiliation with the Hudson County non-profit agency. It reports that no charges will be brought in the matter, which became public during the Democrat's bid for his first full term in 2006.

The newspaper cited a letter sent to Menendez's lawyer by Zane David Memeger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, whose office took over the probe in 2009 when Paul Fishman was appointed U.S. Attorney for New Jersey. Fishman recused himself to avoid a potential conflict of interest, because Menendez had supported him for the federal post.

"After review and consideration of the matter transferred to me, I have decided to close the file," Memeger wrote in the Oct. 5 letter, co-signed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard P. Barrett.

It indicates that Menendez's lawyer, Marc Elias, had called Memeger to seek an update on the investigation, though prosecutors typically don't respond to such requests.

The newspaper did not say how it obtained a copy of the letter, which does not explicitly say Menendez has been cleared of wrongdoing. But one expert told the newspaper that it amounts to a "de facto exoneration" because prosecutors rarely send out such letters to people being investigated.

Menendez declined comment on the conclusion of the investigation, which focused on his relationship with the North Hudson Community Action Corp., an anti-poverty group that he helped secure millions of dollar in federal funding.

Read the rest here.
Comment: Menendez is one of hundred reasons to repeal the 17th Amendment.

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