NY Times on Menendez: Reid 'Needs to Remove His Gavel'

The New York Times has called on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to remove New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez from his chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Under the editorial headline “Mr. Menendez’s Ethics Problem,” the newspaper said Menendez “was never a distinguished choice for chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the position he ascended to this month by virtue of seniority.”

“Concerns about that quality gap have sharply escalated amid new disclosures about Mr. Menendez’s use of his position to advance the financial interests of a friend and big donor,” the Times wrote. “Instead of trying to protect Mr. Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, needs to remove his gavel, at least pending credible resolution by the Senate Ethics Committee of the swirling accusations of misconduct.”

The Times lists allegations against Menendez for helping out wealthy Democratic Party donor ophthalmologist Dr. Salomon Melgen, including a port deal in the Dominican Republic that has come under scrutiny, alleged Medicare issues, and Menendez’s ethics conundrum regarding flights to the Dominican Republican Melgen provided to him for free.

“The relationship between Mr. Menendez and Dr. Melgen was drawn into the spotlight following recent reports that Mr. Menendez had accepted two round-trip flights aboard Dr. Melgen’s jet for personal vacations in the Dominican Republic in 2010,” the Times wrote. “In January, Mr. Menendez sent Dr. Melgen a check for $58,500 to reimburse the cost of the flights, which he had failed to report as gifts at the time or reimburse, as required.”

This reporter was the first to ask Reid why he would allow Menendez to become committee chairman without a complete investigation almost two weeks ago. Instead of answering the question, Reid attacked new media for questioning Menendez. 

A Reid spokesman hasn’t immediately responded to Breitbart News’ request for comment in response.




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