May. 15, 2015

N.J. Sen. Menendez's legal expenses reach nearly $1 million amid probes

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Story by Matt Friedman

TRENTON — U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez has now raised and spent approximately $1 million on legal bills amid Justice Department and congressional investigations.
The legal defense fund that Menendez (D-N.J.) set up in January disclosed its donations and expenses today for the period of July 1 through Sept. 30.
The senator raised $357,750 during that period from 65 donors, and spent $290,644, according to forms publicly disclosed on the IRS website.
Menendez raised $308,000 and spent $258,387 through the defense fund during the previous quarter. Before that, he spent more than $400,000 form his campaign account on legal fees.

Menendez is facing investigations by the FBI and Senate ethics committee over whether he did political favors for Florida-based eye doctor Salomon Melgen, a major campaign donor.

Menendez has admitted taking three flights on Melgen’s private jet that he did not reimburse until much later. Eventually, he paid Melgen $58,500 from his personal savings for two flights, and $11,250 from his campaign fund for one flight he said he did not discover until years later.

Menenedez’s donors include Michael Kempner, who heads the prominent public relations firm MWW, insurance executive John Graham, and attorney Michael Perrucci.
Menendez’s fund paid $156,597 to the law firm Coburn and Greenbaum, $18,494 to the Brand Law Group and $109, 553 to the firm McDermott, Will and Emery.
The fund also paid $5,000 to fundraising consultant Samantha Maltzman.