The scandal enveloping New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez over his acceptance of bribes for political favors escalated Monday.
Senator Menendez, the Democratic chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he would not resign. Even as an important political ally, Senator John Fetterman (D-Pa.), vowed to return a $5,000 campaign contribution.
Senator Menendez Gave Lavishly to Ally Before Scandal
According to a CNBC report, Fetterman’s office announced it was in the process of returning the $5,000 in envelopes full of $100 bills. The money had originally come to Fetterman’s campaign for senator in 2022 via a Menendez-led PAC, said CNBC, citing the website OpenSecrets.
It went on to note that Fetterman was the first senator in his party to call on Menendez to resign as the explosive story made headlines last week.
Senator Menendez received hundreds of thousands of dollars from three business associates in New Jersey. According to the federal indictment, they showered him with cash, gold bars, a luxury car, and even a sinecure for his wife where she would receive pay for little or no work.
In return, the three associates received favors from one of the most powerful figures in the US Senate. Menendez helped one of them get a lucrative business opportunity from the government of Egypt. He used his clout to impede law enforcement investigations of the other two.
An Enemy of Cryptocurrency
Since the scandal broke, some news sources have called attention to a curious fact. Senator Menendez has posed as a morally upright figure. Warning people about the dangers and, indeed, the fraud that he believes cryptocurrency facilitates.
In June, Menendez worked across the aisle with Senator Jim Risch, an Idaho Republican, to re-introduce a bill calling for an inquiry into El Salvador’s acceptance of crypto as legal tender.
Learn more about a small country’s experiment with cryptocurrency in the face of Senator Menendez’s hostility.
The purpose of the letter? To express the lawmakers’ concern that Meta enables crypto scammers. Facebook, as it was then called, may have banned crypto ads in 2018.
But Menendez and his colleagues felt that this step did not go far enough. And that Zuckerberg had failed to convince them of his commitment to transparency.
Menendez did not mince words in addressing Zuckerberg on this point. As the strongly worded September 8, 2022, letter stated:
“We are concerned that Meta provides a breeding ground for cryptocurrency fraud that causes significant harm to consumers.”
Fraud—something that Senator Bob Menendez would obviously never engage in.
Top crypto platforms in the US | December 2023
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