U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, will reportedly face federal corruption charges soon, according to multiple news outlets. Outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder has allegedly given Justice Department prosecutors the green light to go forward with the case.
Bob Menendez has denied any wrongdoing.
As soon as the news broke, an organization called American Commitment launched the ByeBob website, demanding that Menendez step down from his federal elected position. About 2,500 individuals have signed the petition so far.
The senator's legal problems apparently revolve around his long-time friendship with Salomon Melgen, a wealthy Florida eye doctor and big campaign contributor. "Menendez advocated on Melgen's behalf with federal Medicare administrators who accused Melgen of overbilling the government's healthcare program, according to court documents and people briefed on the probe... Prosecutors also are focusing on whether Menendez broke the law in advocating for Melgen's business interest in a Dominican Republic government contract for a port screening equipment," CNN reported.
Menendez previously reimbursed the doctor for two private roundtrip plane fights to a Dominican Republic vacation spot.
Unproven allegations surfaced in 2012 that the senator partied with prostitutes while in the DR.
In calling for Menendez's resignation, the ByeBob website insists that while the senator deserves his day in court, he must resign now.
"Bob accepted lavish private jet trips to luxury resorts and huge campaign contributions from Salomon Melgen, a Florida doctor accused of a massive Medicare fraud scheme. He then pressured officials not to investigate Melgen. Bob unethically, and likely criminally, compromised his ability to represent the people of New Jersey."
Although Menendez has supported most of the Obama agenda, conspiracy theorists and others suggest that the charges could be payback for vocally opposing the president on restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba and for criticizing a flawed deal with Iran on its nuclear program. Menendez was the chair of the influential Foreign Relations Committee until the Republicans captured both branches of Congress in January.
U.S. Sen Ted Cruz asserted that "in the very week that Bob Menendez showed incredible courage to speak out and call out President Obama for the damage that his policy is doing to our national security … the Justice Department announces they're moving forward with the criminal prosecution. It raises the suggestion to other Democrats that if you dare part from the Obama White House, that criminal prosecutions will be used potentially as a political weapon against you as well," The Hill reported.
According to American Commitment President Phil Kerpen,"Bob Menendez unethically, likely criminally, compromised his ability to represent the people of New Jersey. As the chairman, and now the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Menendez also endangered national security through these corrupt arrangements," The Daily Caller reported.
As the Inquisitr previously chronicled, Bob Menendez and Hillary Clinton were supposedly involved in helping a wealthy Ecuadorian national who contributed thousands to the Democrats gain entry into the U.S. by waiving a previous travel ban previously imposed in connection with alleged visa fraud.
Sen. Bob Menendez is serving his second term of office, which ends in 2018. If he leaves office before the term expires, Gov. Chris Christie would have the opportunity to appoint a replacement who would hold the seat until a special election.