NY Post: How Menendez ‘Conspired’ To Import Rich Donor’s Babes
By Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein, NY Post
They are the models who could bring down a senator.
Sen. Robert Menendez mobilized his staff to secure a visa for a Brazilian actress who posed nude on the cover of Sexy magazine; he stepped up for a sultry Ukrainian student who wanted a plastic-surgery consult; and he directd a staff member to “call Ambassador asap” in order to reverse a visa denial to a 22-year-old Dominican model.
The young women were all paramours of Dr. Salomon Melgen, 60, a married eye doctor and one of Menendez’s biggest donors, prosecutors charge.
The New Jersey Democrat’s efforts on behalf of Melgen’s lovers came to light in a 68-page indictment against the two men unsealed this month.
Menendez is accused of using his power and influence to benefit Melgen in exchange for almost $1 million in gifts and campaign contributions.
If convicted, Menendez faces up to 15 years in prison on each of eight bribery counts alone. Both men have pleaded not guilty.
The senator is also accused of trying to influence a State Department official on Melgen’s behalf in a dispute involving one of the doctor’s business interests in the Dominican Republic.
Prosecutors also say Menendez and his staff tried to help Melgen in a Medicare billing conflict.
Melgen was charged with Medicaid fraud last week in a separate 76-count indictment.
But the strangest aspect of the government’s case focuses on Menendez’s Herculean efforts to build Melgen’s harem.
No fewer than six Senate staffers acted with a sense of urgency to get the job done.