Western Journalism Menendez will stand trial in federal court on public corruption charges
The Justice Department said Wednesday that former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., attempted to convince the Obama administration to reverse a ruling against a New Jersey eye doctor who has since been convicted in one of the biggest Medicare fraud cases in history.
The claims were revealed in a court filing against Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey.
Menendez will appear in a U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey next week to face charges that he accepted bribes in the form of campaign contributions and expensive trips in return for aiding Dr. Salomon Melgen in his efforts to keep his illegal actions hidden from the government.
The DOJ said that in 2011, in an attempt to “amplify the pressure” on the Obama administration, Menendez asked Reid for his help in getting the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to reverse a ruling against Melgen, who had been accused of over-billing Medicaid by almost $9 million. Reid turned to a deputy White House chief of staff for aid, but she refused.
“At that time, the Majority Leader reached out to the White House Deputy Chief of Staff, informing her that Menendez was upset about how a Florida ophthalmologist was being treated by CMS and asking that she call the agency,” the DOJ’s court filing read.
The unidentified staffer did not help after “recognizing the matter involved a dispute between a single doctor and an administrative agency.”