Former Nevada Senator Harry Reid is like a gift that keeps on giving. I mean – well I thought – the next time I wrote anything meaningful about him, it would be his obituary.
Federal court documents show that in November 2011, New Jersey Democratic Senator Robert Menendez got Reid’s help in pressuring the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to reverse its ruling that Florida eye-doctor Salomon Melgen owed $8.9 million for over-billing Medicare. Menendez is facing a corruption trial along with Melgen, whose accused of bribing Menendez with hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions and lavish trips in exchange for his help on government disputes.
For his part, Reid contacted a White House deputy chief of staff, who in the end refused to help Reid.
“At that time, the Majority Leader reached out to the White House Deputy Chief of Staff,” reads the 30-page trial brief, “Informing her that Menendez was upset about how a Florida ophthalmologist was being treated by CMS and asking that she call the agency.”
Department of Justice paperwork also lays-out how Melgen and Reid had their own relationship. In 2012 the doctor gave $600,000 to Reid’s Majority PAC, which was then earmarked for Menendez’s 2012 electoral race.
Furthermore, in June 2012, Melgen flew Reid on his company’s private plane from Washington to Boston for a Senate Majority PAC event and back again. The indictment also details how on August 2, 2012, both Menendez and Reid met with then-secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius in Reid’s Capitol office to discuss policies that affected Melgen.
Both Menendez and Melgen have pleaded not guilty and deny wrongdoing. And once again, like a greased pig at the county fair, Reid isn’t facing any charges for his underhanded activities.