• The other major complaint involves allegations, first elaborated Feb. 10 in the New York Times, that Menendez tried to prevent the US from donating port security equipment to the Dominican Republic in order to protect the business interests of his friend.
• According to the Times, Menendez discouraged the Department of Homeland Security from donating the equipment because it would “undermine efforts by a private company,” with connections to Melgen, to protect the contract, worth as much as $500 million over 20 years.
• Further compounding the matter is a hefty $700,000 donation Melgen made to Majority PAC, a Super PAC created to elect Senate Democrats that ultimately made a $582,500 contribution to Menendez’s 2012 re-election campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
“Probably the most significant aspect of the allegations that have been made centers around the misuse of authority or undue influence,” says Dr. Harrison. “[Alleged favors were] not done on behalf of constituents … but on behalf of a campaign donor from another state. That’s what’s raising red flags in Washington.”