Democratic Senator Cory Booker, gave an incredible $20,000 to a legal defense fund for Senator Robert Menendez – who is currently on a trial for corruption.
Attorneys for the government claim that the wealthy Dr. Salomon Melgen had a very “corrupt pact” with Menendez and his wife in which Melgen gave money to Menendez backed organizations in return for personal political favors.
Fellow New Jersey Senator, Corey Booker boldly appeared on the opening day of the ongoing corruption trial last week, and sat in the first rows right behind his fellow Senator and Democratic colleague. Cory Booker said that he expects, “some serious appeals” if his self-described “mentor” is convicted.
Booker defended his presence at the trial, and Menendez, saying, “He’s innocent until proven guilty. So he is an innocent man … If he’s proven guilty, I think there’s going to be some serious appeals because I think there are some fundamental constitutional questions that I’ve never seen in a case like this.”
The $20,000 donations made by Booker was disclosed in a public filing by Robert Menendez’s legal fund, and shows that Booker sent the money from his own leadership political action committee, CoryPAC.
The first donation made from Booker’s PAC to Menendez was made in 2015 on 15th August, for $10,000, which is the largest donation of its kind that can legally be made in a year. The next donation to Menendez’s defense fund was recorded in March of 2016, again for $10,000 the maximum amount that could be transferred that year.
Describing the charges against Menendez, federal prosecutor says that, “The defendants’ bribery scheme began shortly after Menendez’s elevation to the Senate in 2006, when Melgen began a pattern of treating Menendez to weekend and weeklong getaways in the Dominican Republic that would continue for the next several years … For the first four years of the corruption scheme, the all-expense paid trips Melgen provided often included free roundtrip flights on Melgen’s private jet for Menendez and his various guests. When the doctor’s private jet was unavailable, Melgen supplied equally luxurious travel for the Senator.”
The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) called on Menendez to return Booker’s donation, arguing that, “for the good of consistency, and more importantly transparency and maintaining trust in government, the PAC donations should be returned.” The NRSC spokesman added, “The hypocrisy of some of these Senators when it comes to passing ethical judgment on others is astounding, as they are often the first to cry foul when the appearance of impropriety involves their political opponents.”