Senate Ethics panel scolds Menendez over gift scandal

Senate Ethics panel scolds Menendez over gift scandal

In its verdict, the Senate Ethics Committee noted that his trial did not result in a conviction but found that Menendez's conduct ran afoul of what is proper for a USA senator.

The last New Jersey senator to face such public reprimand from the Ethics Committee was Robert Torricelli, a Democrat who ended his 2002 reelection bid shortly after being admonished.

In January, the federal judge hearing the case threw out the most serious bribery charge against him, and a week later, the feds dropped the rest of the charges.

Menendez, D-N.J., was ordered to repay the fair market value of all gifts he previously had not paid for, and to amend his personal financial disclosure forms to acknowledge them. "Finally, by this letter, you are hereby severely admonished".

Menendez's bribery trial ended in a hung jury in November.

"The way this case started was wrong".

Elias, a lawyer for Mr. Menendez, said in a statement that numerous committee's conclusions were at odds with the earlier legal proceedings.

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"Bob has done a great job as a senator", said Rep.

Menendez is running for re-election this November in a state that is reliably Democratic, but Senate Republicans see an opportunity to use this ethics admonishment against him in the 2018 campaign.

His Republican opponent, former Celgene Corp. executive Bob Hugin, said Menendez should step down.

But in court, Menendez successfully argued that there was no illegal quid pro quo, that Melgen was a bona fide friend and that the gifts he received and the favors he did for him were unconnected. This intervention included persistent advocacy before multiple senior CMS officials over the course of three years, reaching, at its height, your meeting with the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The senator's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. According to the committee's records, it last took a similar action in 2012, when it issued a "qualified admonition" of then-Senator Tom Coburn. Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Sen Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). Bob Packwood, R-Ore., in 1995 after a lengthy investigation found evidence of rampant sexual misconduct. In that time, three other senators have been recommended for censure, an official rebuke that falls short of expulsion. But the department subsequently opted not to seek the second trial.

The letter was signed by all six members of the panel, including Sen.

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