- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Senate Select Committee on Ethics “severely admonished” Sen. Robert Menendez Thursday over his relationship with a Florida eye doctor and the gifts he received from him.

Mr. Menendez, New Jersey Democrat, avoided a criminal conviction in November after jurors failed to reach a verdict on federal corruption and bribery charges, prompting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, to call for a probe into his behavior.

“The Committee has found that over a six-year period you knowingly and repeatedly accepted gifts of significant value from Dr. Melgen without obtaining required Committee approval, and that you failed to publicly disclose certain gifts as required by Senate Rule and federal law,” the committee said in a public letter of admonition.

The committee said Mr. Menendez showed “poor judgment” by accepting gifts from Dr. Salomon Melgen at the same time he was trying to advance his interests, and said his actions “violated Senate Rules, federal law, and applicable standards of conduct.”

“Accordingly, you must repay the fair market value of all impermissible gifts not already repaid, amend your Financial Disclosure Reports to include all reportable gifts,” the committee said. “Finally, by this letter, you are hereby severely admonished.”

Before the mistrial in November, Mr. Menendez stood accused of accepting gifts from Dr. Melgen and then moving to protect him from scrutiny from the federal government.

Federal prosecutors initially signaled they planned to retry Mr. Menendez, but later decided otherwise.

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