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Investigation of Democratic Senator Gives New Chances to DOJ’s Public Integrity Section

Robert Menendez

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The revamped anti-corruption unit of the Justice Department ha an opportunity to redeem itself in the federal corruption investigation of Sen. Robert Menendez, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The top leadership of the Public Integrity Section resigned after an embarrassing slip up led to the dismissal of Alaska Republican Sen. Ted Stevens’ conviction.

“Now the unit — created in the Watergate era to ferret out political corruption — has the chance to restore its tattered reputation with what is likely to be its first prosecution of a sitting U.S. senator since Stevens,” The Times wrote.

The Justice Department is expected soon to decide whether to charge the New Jersey Democrat, who is accused of receiving gifts in exchange for helping a Florida doctor’s business in the Caribbean.

“I think the Public Integrity Section got totally gun-shy after Stevens,” said Melanie Sloan, a former federal prosecutor who is a lawyer for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group. “Since Stevens, they prosecuted John Edwards for a nonexistent crime, and they failed to prosecute John Ensign for clearly established ones.”

 


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