The Justice Department will bring criminal charges to Democratic senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey. CNN reports:
People briefed on the case say Attorney General Eric Holder has signed off on prosecutors' request to proceed with charges, CNN has learned exclusively. An announcement could come within weeks. Prosecutors are under pressure in part because of the statute of limitation on some of the allegations.
The case could pose a high-profile test of the Justice Department's ability to prosecute sitting lawmakers, having already spawned a legal battle over whether key evidence the government has gathered is protected by the Constitution's Speech and Debate clause.
Menendez has been accused of illegally receiving gifts from two fugitive businessmen in exchange for pushing their interests in Congress.While the federal investigation has been ongoing, the timing of the charges is curious. Menendez has been one of the top Democratic critics in Congress of the Obama administration's negotiations and forthcoming deal with Iran over the Islamic Republic's nuclear ambitions. Earlier this year, the New Jersey Democrat said the White House's talking points on the Iran deal were "straight out of Tehran."
The Scrapbook, ever mindful of the passage of time, couldn’t help but notice the obituary for John Doar in a recent edition of the Washington Post. Doar, who died last week at the age of 92, had been one of Bobby Kennedy’s associates at the Justice Department, serving for seven years in its civil rights division. Those were interesting times (1960-67) to be in the civil rights division, and the Post had much to say about Doar’s work in the long, sometimes violent, struggle to end racial segregation.
Last month the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination of Debo Adegbile to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. The vote broke along party lines, 10-to-8. Over the weekend Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania became the first Democrat to oppose Adegbile. “I will not vote to confirm the nominee,” he said. A cloture vote scheduled for Monday has (because of the snowstorm) been postponed to Wednesday. With Casey’s announcement, Adegbile can no longer be assured that Democratic senators will uniformly support him. Indeed, the question now is whether other Democrats will follow Casey’s lead. It would take six Democrats including Casey to vote against and defeat the nomination.
Baton Rouge Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal found out late on Friday, August 23. Attorney General Eric Holder was suing to block the state’s school voucher program, which aims to give low-income kids in terrible schools the opportunity to attend better public schools and even private schools. The Justice Department claims the two-year-old program could interfere with federal desegregation orders in several Louisiana parishes, holdovers from the Civil Rights era.
Several weeks ago in San Francisco, Attorney General Eric Holder told the American Bar Association that our criminal justice system is too harsh, too costly, and gives convicted African-American males sentences 20 percent longer than others for similar crimes.
Senate majority leader Harry Reid said the George Zimmerman trial "isn't over" and said he thinks "the Justice Department is going to take a look at this."
The NBC host asked, "And the president, does he have a role in speaking about it as he did after the shooting?"
"Yeah, of course," said Reid. "And I think the Justice Department's going to take a look at this. You know, this isn't over with, and I think that's good, that's our system. It's gotten better, not worse."
Valerie Jarrett, a close adviser to President Obama, said that Eric Holder is "definitely" not stepping down and that he'll be attorney general "for quite a while."
"One of the things that you learn in this business is, don't listen to rumors. You can take it from me. Obviously, I know the president pretty well. And I know the attorney general very well. and he will be in his position for quite a while."
White House spokesman dodged questions today about whether Attorney General Eric Holder told the truth when testifying in front of Congress. The questions arise amid new developments in the story of the Justice Department's snooping on Fox News reporter James Rosen.
"I would refer you to the Justice Department," says Carney.
President Barack Obama's attorney general, Eric Holder, is "beginning to feel a creeping sense of personal remorse." The feelings of "remorse" began for Holder after he read an article in the Washington Post about how the Justice Department, which he heads, investigated Fox News reporter James Rosen.