Trenton, N.J. – U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez has raised more than $1.5 million for his legal defense fund since he was indicted on federal corruption charges April 1 and has spent more than $867,000 defending himself, according to a review of a financial disclosure filed with the Senate.
The New Jersey Democrat has so far raised nearly $2.9 million, including $1,557,003 between April 1 and June 30. He was indicted on 14 counts accusing him of using his influence to help a Florida eye doctor in exchange for lavish vacations and campaign donations. He has pleaded not guilty and has vowed to fight the charges.
The money is on top of the nearly $1.3 million that the legal fund had raised by the time he was indicted.
The legal defense fund spent $867,070 since he was indicted, including money for legal fees, travel expenses and fundraising consulting. He had spent about $850,000 in legal defense through March 31, according to earlier filings.
The legal defense fund is just one part of Menendez’s response to the yearslong investigation, which also includes a coordinated public relations campaign to support him through what is likely to be a long and expensive legal fight.
“Today’s report reaffirms the broad, deep and unwavering support the Senator has in New Jersey and across the country from those who know him, who share his longstanding beliefs on critical issues, and who want him to continue to fight for those beliefs and on their behalf,” said Michael Soliman, a Menendez political adviser.
The earlier $1.3 million included $10,000 from a retired New Jersey developer who served two years in prison for making illegal kickbacks. Menendez’s fund also received $10,000 from the wife of the developer, Joseph Barry, and another $130,000 from executives of the development firm founded by Barry’s two sons, and their families, according to financial disclosure forms.
Barry was sentenced to 25 months in prison in 2004 for giving nearly $115,000 in payoffs to longtime Hudson County Executive Robert Janiszewski after getting his help to obtain government funding. The money went toward building the Shipyard project, which turned a former Bethlehem Steel plant into high-end housing and retail that helped reshape the waterfront in Hoboken.
That project is now owned by Ironstate Development Corp., which Barry’s sons started after he retired from the company. Ironstate has developed high-end mixed use projects across New Jersey and New York.
Menendez’s co-defendant, Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen, also has been charged with trying to bilk Medicare out of as much as $190 million. He has pleaded not guilty.