Harvard College’s newspaper The Harvard Crimson appears to have confirmed suspicions that a prominent Democratic Party donor currently entangled in the scandal surrounding New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez never attended Harvard.
In calling on Menendez to “step down” from his position as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee amid allegations of impropriety with his donor Dr. Salomon Melgen, the Crimson did not refer to Melgen as an alumnus. When writing about or referencing Harvard alumni, the Crimson regularly includes that alumnus’s or alumna’s graduation year in the article. This editorial, which names Melgen, does not include a graduation year.
The Washington Free Beacon reported recently that Melgen “claims that he is an alumnus of Harvard Medical School,” and that his “biography says he was a vitreo-retinel fellow at Harvard, and graduated as the medical school’s chief fellow.”
A personnel office employee told the Free Beacon’s Lachlan Markay that the school has no records of Melgen ever having attended.
“No one with the last name Melgen appears in our records,” the employee told Markay. “That would be in our digital library, but I have no record of anyone with that name.”
The Crimson’s call for Menendez to step down as the committee’s chairman follows the New York Times’ recent similar call. In early February, the Times called for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to “remove his gavel.”
Now that two massively liberal entities—Harvard’s student paper editorial board and the New York Times—have called for Menendez to lose his gavel, it may pave the way for some lawmakers to make the same call. The political cover Harvard and the Times offer for Senate Republicans and Democrats is crucial to any one of them thinking about stepping forward to make a push against Menendez and for a return to the Senate’s esteemed values.
“After almost three decades of representing Massachusetts in the Senate, Secretary of State John F. Kerry has moved onto to bigger and better things,” the Crimson’s staff wrote in the editorial. “The former chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry has left big shoes to fill. His replacement, Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, does not appear to be up to the task.”
The Crimson went on to detail the charges against Menendez, especially his connections to Democratic Party mega-donor Dr. Salomon Melgen. The Harvard paper notes that Menendez denies any impropriety but doubts Menendez’s claims, asking “how credulous can we be?”
“A mountain of evidence and an air smacking of ‘Boardwalk Empire’ suggest otherwise,” the Crimson counters Menendez’s denials of any wrongdoing.
“The Foreign Relations Committee is one of the Senate’s most important bodies. Menendez’s troubles cannot distract from its critical work,” the Crimson added. “Neither should it be led by a man who might monetize the position to detrimental effect. For the duration of the ethics inquiry, Menendez should step down from his post. It wouldn’t be proper to replace John Kerry with a Senator who, if the allegations are true, appears to be only slightly less corrupt than ‘Boardwalk Empire’s’ Walter Edge.”