Fed Agent Lied About Menendez Meeting, Lawyers Say
By ABBOTT KOLOFF, staff writer | The Record
EXTRACT: Menendez’s attorneys said in court papers filed Tuesday that they anticipate disclosing “classified information” at trial about a “foreign service” that planted allegations against the senator “to discredit him for his foreign policy and national security views.” Last year, The Washington Post reported that the Central Intelligence Agency provided the Justice Department with information that the tip could have been connected to the Cuban government. Menendez, the son of Cuban immigrants, has been a vocal critic of President Obama’s decision to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba.
A federal agent gave false testimony to a grand jury to make it appear that meetings about a drug reimbursement policy were focused only on helping a wealthy Florida eye doctor win a multimillion-dollar Medicare billing dispute, attorneys for Sen. Bob Menendez said in court papers filed late Thursday.
The filing was made to bolster a request to have corruption charges dropped against the New Jersey Democrat and the doctor, Salomon Melgen, and came in response to prosecutors’ saying in papers filed more than a week ago that the senator is trying to rewrite history about his advocacy for Melgen, a longtime friend.
The attorneys alleged that prosecutors gave grand jurors bad instructions about what constitutes corruption, failed to screen them for bias, leaked information that compromised the defense, and were “preoccupied with sex” by focusing on issues related to Melgen’s girlfriends and an investigation of underage prostitutes that turned out to be groundless.
Prosecutors have said they may call Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Kathleen Sebelius, the former secretary of the Health and Human Services Department, to testify about a meeting they had with Menendez.
According to Menendez’s attorneys, Sebelius has said Reid and Menendez spoke to her during the meeting about how a drug reimbursement policy “was unfair to health providers.” According to court documents, a health official told the FBI that the senators were “not there to talk about a particular case; they were there to talk about policy.”
Article continues here: Did Cuba Target Menendez?