U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz suggested to reporters Saturday that federal corruption charges against Democratic U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez could have been motivated more by politics than justice.
“The announcement this week by the Justice Department that they were bringing charges against Bob Menendez — I will point out that the timing seems awfully coincidental,” the Texas Republican said at the Iowa Ag Summit in Des Moines, The Hill reported. “In the very week that Bob Menendez showed incredible courage to speak out and call out President Obama for the damage that his policy is doing to our national security … the Justice Department announces they’re moving forward with the criminal prosecution.”
Attorney General Eric Holder signed off on charges against Menendez on Friday, accusing the New Jersey senator of using his influence to help a friend and donor in exchange for gifts.
“It raises the suggestion to other Democrats that if you dare part from the Obama White House, that criminal prosecutions will be used potentially as a political weapon against you as well,” Cruz said.
Earlier last week, Menendez blasted President Obama’s nuclear arms negotiations with Iran.
“When it comes to defending the U.S.-Israel relationship, I am not intimidated by anyone – not Israel’s political enemies, and not by my political friends when I believe they’re wrong,” Menendez told a cheering crowd at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee national conference, according to Breitbart News.
The Hill reported:
The issue came to a head on Capitol Hill last week when Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu rebuked the Obama administration in front of Congress for its strategy on Iran.
On Friday, news broke that the Justice Department was preparing to bring criminal charges against Menendez.
“The timing is curious,” Cruz said. “This investigation has been going on for over a year, and yet the very week they announce a pending indictment comes within hours after Sen. Menendez showing courage to speak out against President Obama’s dangerous foreign policy that is risking the national security of this country.”
Menendez is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and was its chairman until the GOP took over after the 2014 midterm elections. He chaired the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from 2009 to 2011, and is arguably the Senate’s most powerful Hispanic member.
Both Menendez and Cruz are Cuban-Americans
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