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Justice Department indicts Senator Robert Menendez on corruption charges

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U.S. Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey was indicted on Wednesday on corruption charges, a U.S. Justice Department spokesman said.

Menendez, 61, was indicted in New Jersey along with Florida ophthalmologist Dr. Salomon Melgen on one count of conspiracy, one count of violating the travel act, seven counts of bribery and three counts of honest services fraud, the DOJ spokesman said, adding the senator was also charged with one count of making false statements.

The agency said Menendez “allegedly accepted gifts from Melgen in exchange for using the power of his Senate office to benefit Melgen’s financial and personal interests.”

Menendez, the former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has denied any wrongdoing.

He will hold a news conference at 7 p.m. (2300 GMT) in New Jersey.

For some time, federal authorities have been investigating his relationship with Melgen, a Democratic donor accused of overbilling the government’s Medicare program.

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Menendez, who is Cuban-American, is among the most senior Hispanic politicians in the country. He was re-elected to a second term in the Senate in 2012. He spent 13 years in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“As we have said before, we believe all of the senator’s actions have been appropriate and lawful, and the facts will ultimately confirm that,” Tricia Enright, Menendez’s communications director, said on March 6, responding to early reports that federal prosecutors were close to bringing charges against the senator.

(Reporting by Julia Edwards and Washington Speed Team; Editing by Peter Cooney and Eric Beech)

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Right now Donald Trump thinks he’s winning — and he might not be wrong

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Donald Trump thinks he's winning.

For months, Americans have grown accustomed to Trump in his cornered-rat mode, lashing out defensively and ruminating obsessively over the possibility of impeachment. But his tweets this week have been surprisingly cheerful, suffused with the buoyant spirits of a teenage bully who has successfully swirlied a nerd.

First, like an overexcited child on Christmas Eve who unwraps his presents too soon, Trump — overcome with the pleasures of racist sadism — tweeted on Monday night that "ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens."

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Here are 7 wild, bizarre and pathetic moments from Trump’s ‘campaign launch’

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On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump held a rally that was billed as the official launch his re-election campaign — though he has never really stopped holding campaign rallies.

As expected, the president ranted, lied, and engaged in the raucous attacks that are central to his connection with Republican voters. Some of it was actually just sad, such as his continued obsession with Hillary Clinton.

Here are seven of the wildest, disturbing and pathetic moments from the rally:

1. He said Democrats "want to destroy our country as we know it."

Trump casually accuses Democrats of "want[ing] to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it." pic.twitter.com/4K79KlbEeR

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Rick Wilson hilariously ridicules the ‘formal flip-flops’ and ‘dress cargo pants’ worn by Florida Trump supporters

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Republican strategist Rick Wilson mocked the attire of the Donald Trump supporters who were bused in from around Florida for his official campaign kickoff in Orlando.

Wilson, a Florida man himself, joined MSNBC's Brian Williams for post-rally analysis on "The 11th Hour."

Williams played a clip of a Trump supporter with sleeveless Trump T-shirt identifying her as a "proud member of the basket of deplorables" explaining why she'll vote to re-elect the president in 2020.

"The main reason? Because he’s one of the best presidents we’ve had for a very long time," the woman argued. "Very long time."

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