Investigation into AG’s Office over Menendez Indictment
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Source: Senatenj.com

Senate Republicans Call for Investigation into AG’s Office in Letter to Senate President

On October 3, 2023, the Senate Republican Caucus, spearheaded by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJU) including Senators Anthony M. Bucco, Kristin M. Corrado, Jon Bramnick, and Michael Testa, penned a letter to Senate President Nicholas Scutari. The letter urges the reconvening of the SJU to delve into specific issues highlighted in U.S. Senator Bob Menendez’s indictment that suggest potential involvement of the Attorney General’s Office. The caucus is calling on their Democratic counterparts in the Senate to support the immediate initiation of an investigation, equipped with special counsel and subpoena authority.

The indictment against Senator Menendez alleges that he attempted to leverage his position to influence the State Attorney General in a bid to sway the outcome of a criminal prosecution. The Senate Republican Leader, Anthony M. Bucco, emphasized the importance of ensuring the integrity of the Attorney General’s Office, which plays a pivotal role in upholding justice for New Jersey residents. He stressed the legislative duty to maintain checks and balances and to probe allegations of corruption to preserve public trust.

The indictment raises concerns about the protocols followed by the Office of the Attorney General. The Judiciary Committee’s responsibility is to determine if these protocols were adhered to, ensuring there’s no breach of public trust.

The letter details the indictment’s allegations, which claim that Senator Menendez and his wife, Nadine Menendez, maintained corrupt ties with three New Jersey businessmen. These businessmen allegedly bribed Senator Menendez to misuse his power for their benefit. The indictment also suggests that Senator Menendez tried to interfere in state criminal cases related to associates of these businessmen. The indictment describes multiple interactions between Senator Menendez and a senior state prosecutor, referred to as “Official-2”, raising concerns about potential undue influence.

The Senate Republicans are urging Senate President Scutari to convene the New Jersey Senate promptly to pass a resolution initiating a bipartisan investigation by the Senate Judiciary Committee into these matters. They are seeking full investigatory authority, including subpoena powers and the ability to retain special counsel.

The indictment of Senator Menendez has significantly impacted the trust of New Jersey residents in their government officials. The Senate Republicans are hopeful that the Senate Democratic Caucus will join them in efforts to restore faith in public institutions.