Menendez Donor Wanted a More High-Profile Friend in D.C.

U.S> Sen. Robert Menendez talks with reporters outside the Senate Chamber after voting for the cloture vote on the Tax Compromise bill in the U.S. Capitol December 13, 2010 in Washington, DC. The U.S. Senate held the cloture vote, a key procedural hurdle, on the bill which is a $858 billion tax cut package reached last week by U.S. President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans.
Sen. Menendez. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The relationship between South Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen and Senator Bob Menendez has been getting a lot of attention recently, but the senator wasn’t the only politician Melgen tried to schmooze. Politico reports that Melgen golfed with Bill Clinton, used his company’s private plane to fly Harry Reid from D.C. to Boston and back last summer, and met President Obama at a 2010 fundraiser he co-hosted for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. (There’s a photo of the president with his arm around the doctor to prove it.) Sources say Melgen complained that he wasn’t getting a good return on these investments, and there’s no evidence that any of these figures did any favors for him. A grand jury investigation will determine if Melgen got his money’s worth in his dealings with Menendez.

Menendez Donor Wanted More High-Profile Friends