Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez isn’t letting something like a corruption trial get in the way of his perceived legislative duties. Menendez jetted off to Puerto Rico on Thursday to assess how well the Trump administration is coping with the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria on the American protectorate.
Menendez’s trial, where he accused of exchanging his government connections for significant financial remuneration, has recessed.
According to a statement from Menendez’s office, while in Puerto Rico, the embattled senator will “meet with local officials and residents on the ground to assess how Congress can help provide necessary resources.”
According to NJ.com, Menendez said at a Thursday news conference that he planned to discuss the aid situation with Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossellini on the best ways to extend assistance to the island’s 3.5 million citizens who don’t have electricity or clean water to drink.
Menendez doesn’t think President Donald Trump is doing enough to alleviate the situation and demanded more money for assistance.
Waiting for his flight at Newark Liberty International Airport, Menendez told reporters,”We are the most powerful nation on the face of the Earth. It’s time to use that power on behalf of 3.5 million United States citizens in Puerto Rico who face a unique challenge.”
He continued to provide his suggestions to the president on Twitter:
“President Trump should request more funding to assist Puerto Rico’s Medicaid program, something I’ve long advocated for,” he tweeted.
Trips to the Caribbean are also integral to Menendez’s corruption trial. He is accused of receiving free vacations to the region compliments of Dr. Solomon Melgen, who allegedly benefited from Menendez’s political influence.
Both Menendez and Melgen say their mutual friendship was the only basis for the exchange of gifts and assistance.