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7 big allegations in Sen. Bob Menendez's indictment

Bob Menendez
Bob Menendez
Mark Wilson / Getty
Andrew Prokop is a senior politics correspondent at Vox, covering the White House, elections, and political scandals and investigations. He’s worked at Vox since the site’s launch in 2014, and before that, he worked as a research assistant at the New Yorker’s Washington, DC, bureau.

The indictment of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) on 14 corruption counts makes for fascinating reading. Overall, the DOJ alleges that Menendez accepted expensive gifts from the wealthy Dr. Salomon Melgen in exchange for intervening on behalf of the doctor's business interests with government officials.

But more specifically, DOJ alleges that Melgen asked Menendez for help securing visas for three girlfriends (all of whom were models), that Melgen used credit card points to book an expensive Paris hotel for Menendez, and that Melgen twice gave huge donations to super PACs that were earmarked for New Jersey's Senate race shortly before Menendez tried to help his business.

Menendez has maintained his innocence, but here are the most eye-catching accusations from the indictment:

1) Melgen's gifts to Menendez included flights, vacations in the Caribbean and Paris, and expensive meals — none of which Menendez disclosed, prosecutors say.

Melgen gifts 2

2) Between 2007 and 2008, Menendez allegedly helped secure student or tourist visas for three different foreign girlfriends of Melgen — all of whom were models.

Melgen girlfriends

3) Menendez allegedly asked Melgen to book a Paris hotel for him with credit card points, for a value of $4,934.10.

BM credit card points

4) Menendez played hardball to try help Melgen's business in a meeting with a State Department official, including threatening to make the official testify at a hearing on it. (The official concluded it was a "bluff")

BM Asst Sec State

5) Menendez allegedly tried to stop US Customs from donating security equipment to the Dominican Republic, because it would threaten Melgen's bottom line.

BM ports donations

6) Menendez met with then-HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius over a billing dispute Melgen was having with Medicare. Sebelius wasn't buying what he was selling, and the meeting was later described as "lively."


7) Twice, Melgen gave big checks to super PACs earmarked to help Menendez's campaign, shortly before Menendez intervened to try to help his business.

BM Super PACs 2

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