Tale of Two Scandals: The Striking Similarities in the Menendez and Biden Cases

Below is my column in USA Today on what the Menendez indictment might say about the Hunter Biden investigation. From the luxury cars to massive amounts of money to even their choice of counsel, the two scandals have striking similarities.

Here is the column:

In February 2019, Sen. Bob Menendez was having nightmares. The Democratic senator from New Jersey said he was haunted by a question that “keeps me up at night” — whether President Donald Trump was compromised by the Russian government because of past secret dealings.

Menendez’s restless nights also may have had something to do with the fact that at the time, he was allegedly accepting lavish gifts from various sources in exchange for using his Senate seat to bestow favors.

The indictment of Menendez and his wife last week included details of alleged bribes that went to the senator in exchange for revealing sensitive, nonpublic information to Egyptian contacts less than a year before his sleep-deprived speech.

Menendez denied the accusations on Friday. However, even if half of this indictment is true, Menendez is toast. He was able to dodge a bullet in 2017 when a jury hung over a separate series of corruption charges involving lavish gifts. This time, the Justice Department says it has photos of thousands of dollars in cash stuffed in clothing, a luxury car, gold bars and other gifts.

That would keep anyone up at night, but there may be one other insomniac this week: Hunter Biden’s lawyer Abbe Lowell.

The Menendez indictment likely proved chilling reading for Lowell, who not only represents President Joe Biden’s son but also represented Menendez in his prior bribery trial.

There are striking similarities between the Menendez and Biden cases.

While Hunter Biden was allegedly selling access to and influence with his father, he also allegedly received massive payments. His associate Devon Archer told Congress that they were selling the Biden family “brand,” and that Joe Biden was “the brand.”

Like Menendez, Hunter Biden allegedly received a luxury car from his foreign clients. For the senator, the Justice Department says it was a $60,000 Mercedes-Benz. For the president’s son, investigators say it was a $142,000 Fisker sports car.

Menendez allegedly received gold bars worth up to $120,000. Biden received a diamond allegedly worth $80,000.

Indeed, the alleged object of these payments was influence with then-Vice President Biden, when he was the presiding officer of the Senate. Menendez was one of the nation’s most powerful senators at the time.

There are also dealings that reference Hunter Biden and his associates in the Menendez matter. When the senator was trying to arrange for Joe Biden to host a foreign event, an aide to Menendez reportedly reached out to Hunter Biden’s associates.

While the president’s son is accused of peddling influence, in Menendez’s case, it is his wife who is accused of acting as a go-between with those trying to buy the senator’s attention. Nadine Menendez allegedly had lunches and countless communications with people, who, according to the indictment, sought favors from the senator.

Nadine Menendez allegedly knew the co-defendants before she married the senator in 2020. The couple met at an IHOP, but he fittingly proposed to her in 2019 at the Taj Mahal on a trip to India. The setting for the proposal would foretell the lavish gifts to come.

Like Hunter, Nadine started an international consulting company, Strategic International Business Consultants, after being unemployed before meeting the senator. She found ample business.

Like Hunter, she is accused of marketing her ability to deliver access to her husband. In March 2020, she allegedly texted an Egyptian official that “anytime you need anything you have my number and we will make everything happen.”

There is of course a major difference between the Biden and Menendez cases: Menendez and his wife are being criminally charged for their alleged influence peddling.

The Justice Department has not only let the statute of limitations run out on the most serious tax charges against Hunter Biden, but it also has not charged the president’s son under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Despite charging figures like Paul Manafort for similar accusations, prosecutors have avoided charges in the Biden case that would put Hunter at the center of a corruption prosecution. Instead, they sought an embarrassing “sweetheart deal” that collapsed in court.

In the Menendez case, investigators left no stone unturned in tracing gifts and money. In the Biden case, a special agent with the IRS testified before Congress that the Bidens were tipped off on planned searches and an attempt to interview the president’s son.

As the Justice Department grinds Menendez into a fine powder, it is likely to draw more attention to the relatively light touch shown Hunter Biden. It is, as Menendez said on the Senate floor in 2019, the type of thing that keeps you up at night.

Jonathan Turley, a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors, is the Shapiro professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter: @JonathanTurley


217 thoughts on “Tale of Two Scandals: The Striking Similarities in the Menendez and Biden Cases”

  1. Turley loves to play word games. There’s NO valid comparison between Hunter Biden’s situation and Menendez: 1. Menendez was a SENATOR; Hunter Biden has never held any kind of government office; 2. Menendez was caught with cash, gold ingots an expensive Mercedes Benz and other valuable items which are tangible proof of payments; there’s NO evidence that JOE Biden ever received anything of value or ever gave any foreign government or person anythng of value–something Turley had to admit. Turley failed to address that uncomfortable exchange between one of the Republicans on the Committee and an NBC correspondent, who pointed out that selected quotes from a “What’s App” message referring to a “Bdien brand” that were dated June and August of 2017, when Joe Biden wasn’t even in office. Turley has also made this same mistake. When the reporter pressed him about this inconvenient fact, the flustered Rep. asked him what outlet he was from. When he replied “NBC”, he said: “I guess you won’t believe anything I say”–the same ploy alt-right media constantly use–attack the credibility of mainstream media. The issue wasn’t whether the reporter questioned what he was saying–he was questioning just HOW JOE Biden could be engaging in corruption when he not only wasn’t in office, he wasn’t even a candidate. Of course, there’s no answer for that question, but alt right media keep pushing it anyway.

    But, since the Republicans’ legal “expert” fizzled during the first impeachment inquiry hearing, Turley has to do something, anything, to keep the “Joe Biden is bad” narrative going. So, we have today’s little piece trying to make the case for comparisons. Until or unless there’s some proof that JOE Biden.

    For you Trump fans out there that attack me and others who keep on pointing out that there’s no evidence of Joe Biden engaging in any sort of bribery–are you now going to turn on Turley and call him names, too?

      1. Gigi the liar

        Who is Amos Hochstein and what is his relationship to Joe and Hunter Biden?

        Who is Marc Holtzman and when did he meet with Joe Biden and what did they discuss?

        Who did Hunter and Zlovchevsky call from Dubai and why?

        Have you even bothered to wonder where that $20M+ went? Do you think Hunter spent it all on crack and tail?

        If you can’t answer these questions, you’ve no idea what “evidence” there is. Shut up and get some popcorn, this is gonna be fun. And all of your and Dennis’ foot stomping isnt going to stop it.

    1. Stop acting like a c*nt, and maybe people will stop calling you names, Gigi

      Goldman—-“So, what you’re saying Professor, is that there is enough evidence for an inquiry, but not for impeachment articles?”

      Turley—-“Yes, for the 12th time”

        1. Here is your credible media, Gigi the LIAR

          “Trump edges out Biden, 51-42 in head to head matchup”

          This was the headline on an ABC news article.

          Only YOU are dumb enough to accept that a NINE POINT LEAD is “edging out”.

      1. Oh, my!

        NUTCHACHACHA, did you read that?

        Perhaps all of the above is only the truth in this universe and not others such as the one you conjure as a mitigating defense mechanism.

      2. Anonymous: you are such a class act with your mysogynistic name-calling to avoid any meaningful response. I asked why you MAGAites haven’t attacked Turley for saying there’s NO EVIDENCE against Joe Biden, when you routinely attack me, Dennis McIntyre and others for saying the same thing. So, how does pointing out this hypocrisy make me a “see you next Tuesday”? Or, are you just like Trump and his media enablers–attack someone who points out uncomfortable truths when you have no substantive response?

        1. “attacked Turley for saying there’s NO EVIDENCE against Joe Biden,”

          Because he didnt say that, you lying sack. And thats also why unget called names duh. Because u cant stop lying.

          We ALL know what he said because we watched it, we didnt get the rachel maddow interpretation.

          1. Here’s a refresher, GIgi the LIAR

            Goldman—-“So, what you’re saying Professor, is that there is enough evidence for an inquiry, but not for impeachment articles?”

            Turley—-“Yes, for the 12th time”

        2. “mysogynistic name-calling”

          The term that was ised applies equally to men and women who behave like a c*nt, so its not mysoginistic at all, snowflake.

        3. So you wish to play in the sandbox yet you rush to the Misogny card when you are called to task for your leftist rhteoric. BTW, the left attacks the media enablers whenever their narrative is not echoed. You seem to fall on deaf ears when your side of the aisle does it. Two and 1/2 years later and the “Orange man bad ” crowd is still obsessed. Thats cultish and you would do it to any Republican who isnts submissive to your party

      3. Not Enough evidence …for now. At least they had an inquiry unlike January 2020. Its amusing to see the same people lightly applaud Prof. turley when in February 2020 he was demonized. They only like a high bar for impeachment when it is one of their own. In 2020 , Prof Turley was the only honest one of the four so called scholars. Noah Feldman lied when he said that he mever spoke about impeachment before the phone call with Zelensky . He actually spoke about it a week after Trump was inaugurated. Another , a woman from Stanford (I beleiev) said she could not walk on the same side of the street as the Trump Hotel in DC. Unhinged, yet considered a legal expert. As for Goldman, he becomes prosecutor or defense attorney whenever it suits him

    2. “‘What’s App’ message [. . .] dated June and August of 2017 . . .”

      It’s called an *ongoing* bribery conspiracy — as in: Started when JB was VP.

      Why does the Left keep flogging points that are so obviously nonsense?

  2. “Tale of Two Ideologies”

    Public Assistance and Affirmative Action Project Comradette Congressclown Jasmine misreads the Constitution, claiming that the government is required to feed the people, which will never be found in the Constitution.

    Jasmine is as bad as some Justices of the Supreme Court, specifically those who ignore and subvert the Constitution in support of the communist American welfare state in all its glory, including, but not limited to, Central Planning, Control of the Means of Production (unconstitutional regulation), Redistribution of Wealth, Social Engineering, the “dictatorship of the proletariat” (i.e. hired help, workers, laborers), and Karl Marx’s motto:  “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”

    Of course, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and America are not prescribed by fundamental law to be anything like Karl Marx’s cranial debacle, much less feed the people.

    1. Oh, and the esteemed Congressclown also misreads Article 2, Section 1, which excludes and denies Congress any degree of power over classified material and provides the President alone the sole and exclusive power to classify, declassify, and archive material, and that the legislative branch shall not usurp the power of the executive branch, that no legislation that usurps the power of the executive branch is constitutional, and that the sole means of changing the Constitution is the amendment process prescribed in the Constitution.

    2. Oh, and the esteemed Congressclown also misreads Article 2, Section 1, which excludes and denies Congress any degree of power over classified material and provides the President alone the sole and exclusive power to classify, declassify, and archive material, and that the legislative branch shall not usurp the power of the executive branch, that no legislation that usurps the power of the executive branch is constitutional, and that the sole means of changing the Constitution is the amendment process prescribed in the Constitution.

      Article 2, Section 1

      The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.

  3. One big difference in these cases is that having the DOJ go after Menendez will not attach to Obama while showing all of Biden’s corruption while VP directly attaches to Obama and his administration.

    Another difference is what I call the “difference between Al Franken and Governor Ralph Northum”. You see when Franken was in trouble they could remove him and safely install another Democrat, but when the Governor of VA got into trouble there was a problem because his LT Gov AND his AG were also in trouble and next in line was a REPUBLICAN. This led to the press conveniently forgetting the governor wearing black face and/or a KKK outfit. This ties into my point because although Joe Biden would be succeeded by a Democrat that Democrat is Kamala Harris or as I like to call her Electoral Poison.

    So the intelligence communities will protect Biden because to treat him the way he deserves to be treated, indicted, impeached and imprisoned, would a) affect the legacy of Obama and b) affect Democrat odds in 2024. The deep state will not allow it and we have many, many examples of how they are NOT going after the Biden Crime Family.

    1. The posting functionality of this site has been substantially diminished and exacerbated.

      Someone ask Darren Smith to have the “reply” box “remember” commenter’s data, and that its entry not be repeatedly required.

    2. RdM – This is fair point. The adminstrator of the blog should make all commontators adopt a unique identity.

  4. How odd that you agree that Biden has behaved badly in this article but yesterday you testified that you’ve seen no evidence worthy of even holding an impeachment inquiry.

  5. There was a big argument on the blog about treason and here it is again. It might not fit Constitutional standards but it fits the meaning of the word.

    “China is no longer a competitor,” Scott said on the “John Solomon Reports” podcast. “They are an adversary.”

    “If you look at some of those ports in Louisiana, and I don’t have a map in front of me, but like Port Fourchon, that area of Louisiana, just a tremendous portion of the energy that we use inside the United States come comes through those hubs,” he said. “And the idea that you would help the Chinese acquire assets in that area to give, you know, an adversary… the ability to control the energy supply inside the United States… I don’t understand how much more of a traitor you could be than to do such a thing.”

  6. Joe called Bob, resign so another corrupt lefty can have their turn.
    BTW, you’re dumb, and thanks for taking some heat for me.

  7. Turley once again ably reminded the Nation yesterday in his appearance before the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability that Washington D.C. is the shadowy epicenter for influence peddling and the self-enrichment it derives. Corruptible politicians like Bob Menendez and Joe Biden whether they sell their influence directly or allow for it through the activities of others are a dime a dozen in a city where politicians and bureaucrats once earnestly served what was a republic, but now is a place where political power is solely in the hands of elected and unelected representatives who serve first and foremost their personal interests. New Jersey will get another senator, but only with hope it is not another Bob Menendez. So is it that America will get another president, but only with the hope it is not another Joe “The Big Guy” Biden.

  8. Trump edges out Biden, 51-42 in head to head matchup

    This was the headline on an ABC news article.

    “Edges out” LMAO

    1. The only question left to be answered is will he be sworn in, in:

      Washington, DC
      Fulton County, GA
      Leavenworth, KS

      Simmmmmmaaaaaa bug

      1. “The only question left to be answered is will he (Trump) be sworn in,” on;
        January 20th 2025 as the 47th president of the United States

        1. The date and who is not in question. Only the location. They will need to bring a Bible and (possibly) a Pardon for him to sign. Eat it lefities!!!

  9. Earlier, I wrote of the difficulty obtaining conservative links from Google, whose algorithms favor left-wing opinion. Those links appear at the beginning, while conservative ones occur at the end of hundreds of left-wing links, many of which are repetitive.

    Previously, one could circumvent the earlier links by choosing more results and quickly bypassing the non-left-wing links, but that disappeared some time ago.

    These actions are intentional and constitute election interference of the most dangerous type.

    No one seems interested. People need to recognize how close our government is to complete failure. Everyone focuses on what Trump did, which isn’t true, and that RF Kennedy is an anti-Semite, which also isn’t true. This is election interference of the worst degree.

    Whoever the Republicans nominate (most likely Trump, but there are many good candidates) must have unanimous support. Trump’s Tweets are not significant enough to watch the nation destroyed, and neither are the deficiencies of the other candidates running. The only thing that counts is the destruction of today’s Democrat Party so it can revert to its more sensible times. (That means nationally voting for only Republicans and locally voting for anyone not associated with the Democrat Party. People like Adam Schiff start locally and end up in powerful places where they destroy a great country.)

    Two interesting articles today:
    More Election Interference! Google Search Buries Biden Opponents


    Search engine optimization or political bias? Biden challengers nearly nonexistent in Google results


      1. More independent media doesn’t help as much as you think because they are pages and pages away from being discovered.Search for something the MRC wrote about. It will be hard to find. Have people even heard about them or Newsbusters?

        1. You have a point there.
          I tell friends and family of different sites that offer better coverage.
          My sister, a Democrat, has subscriptions to WaPo and the WSJ. And she says she only reads the headlines . . . since Biden was elected.
          Have another friend, a Democrat, who used to watch CNN non-stop . . . until Biden was elected.
          Both seem more content being blissfully ignorant of what is going on . . . since Biden was elected.

          1. “has subscriptions to WaPo “

            This was the WP headline.

            Diane Feinstein, Centrist Stalwart of the Senate dies at 90

            For the year 2022 the ACU voted her as one of the three most left-wing members of the Senate.

            Does that sound like she is a centrist? No. It sounds like where politics is concerned the WP is a left-wing promoter of lies. You should send her that information and see what she says. The MSM provides sh!t that is gobbled up by the left especially those anonymous creatures we see on the left.

  10. Goldman—-“So, what you’re saying Professor, is that there is enough evidence for an inquiry, but not for impeachment articles?”

    Turley—-“Yes, for the 12th time”

  11. JT, and you’re a really super dooper bad person for noticing. I’m just waiting for the first s@@tlib to perform cartwheels in an attempt to justify these behaviors, better yet call you a “nazi” too.


    1. They’re going with ‘polygamy’

      *the ‘s@@tlibs’ have a newfound $300m funding for corrupt ultra nationalist neo ‘nazi’

  12. This is the leftist using a fact, but using it wrong

    The wife of Melendez was the intermediary

    Hunter Biden is the intermediary.

    That’s is a mirror image of the the Crimes omitted by Joe Biden.

    There is more evidence, but we have proof by DoJ emails that NOTHING could touch Joe Biden in the Hunter investigation. Menedez was not protected by the DoJ.

  13. “The same set of facts was widely verified in reporting in outlets spanning Axios to the BBC.”

    This is the kind of horsesh!t circular reporting we get these days, and people like bug eat it up. So pathetic.

  14. If it can be shown that “prosecutors” slow-walked an investigation with the purpose of letting a statute of limitations run out, then why would a statute of limitations run out? Why wouldn’t this extend the statute to the end of time? It is such a transparent dodge.

    1. The AP obituary for Feinstein is longer than the obituaries for Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi combined, and still managed to avoid talking about the most-interesting part, which is the intrigue and backstage backstabbing regarding who will replace her. I wouldn’t be surprised if an autopsy revealed Adam Schiff’s fingerprints around her throat.

      1. I wouldn’t be surprised if an autopsy revealed Adam Schiff’s fingerprints around her throat.

        That would certainly be in character for him.

    2. That is good news. It means the young in the East Village (Greenwich Village), still think. That is an area where the young congregate and talk to one another. Those who have never been there are missing a most interesting attraction. I spent a lot of time there during the ’60s, meeting some of the violent leftists. It was a hotbed for political activity.

      1. Meyer – yeah I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that the students actually had a logical thought in their heads.

    1. Dear Myopic ‘Anonymous’… let’s put Prof. Turley’s comments into context: the point clearly being made that the whole purpose of the Congressional Inquiry is to bring forth evidence that right now does not ‘officially’ exist, i.e., has not been presented. The ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions asked by the Opposition are made on purpose to give the impression that their refrain ‘there is no evidence’ is all conclusive.. It is not. One of the defining moments of the Hearing was the easily missed light tap on the shoulder by Rep. Comer to Rep. Raskin telling him to be patient , that the best was yet to come re: the matter of ‘evidence……’

      1. It’s what they were told to say 6 months ago in a DNC email and every email since. They will keep repeating it, no matter what.

  15. You mean “Own Goal Goldman”?

    He is the best player on our team.

    Goldman —“aha! professor Turley, didn’t Devon Archer use the word “illusion” in his testimony””?”
    Turley—-“No, that was your word.”
    Goldman—-“aha!, see there!”

    Dude is a laughingstock.

      1. “It’s funny to be lectured by an heir to the Levi Strauss Corporation.
        And, honestly, that’s probably why he doesn’t consider property damage to be that big of a deal because, not only does he have that, but he also has what some people would describe [as] an impossibly good stock portfolio,”

        Dan Goldman, being schooled by Townhall reporter in Congressional hearing.

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