Corruption, Fraud, Personal Revenge – Welcome To The U.S. Congress!


A growing number of Congressmen are being investigated by U.S. law enforcement agencies. They are accused of using their official positions to commit crimes.

Lacking discipline breeds impunity. Impunity breeds permissiveness. Permissiveness breeds a sense of exclusivity and disregard for the law. This leads, in its turn, to the crimes. And the delinquents themselves are often unaware of what they have done wrong. They are very surprised when the police come to their offices and accuse them of what they thought was natural.


What happens now in the U.S. Congress fits perfectly into this pattern. In March of this year, Republican Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey was indicted on new charges of bribery and unlawful foreign influence and money laundering. In addition to previous episodes of corruption and illegal activities on behalf of Egypt, he is now accused of illegally lobbying for the interests of Qatar.

Menendez has been the subject of corruption scandals before. In 2010, he used his official position to pressure Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben Bernanke to approve the unlawful sale of New Jersey’s First American Bank, which was owned by the senator’s investor friends. The FBI implicated Menendez in repeatedly using his own federal office to make illegal payments to his friend, physician Salomon Melgen. The U.S. Department of Justice charged Menendez with 14 cases of bribery and Medicare fraud.

Ironically, the U.S. justice system has since failed to bring Menendez to justice, or at least to kick him out of the U.S.Congress. He is still a member of the Senate, although he has resigned from all leadership positions. As it turns out, he continues to engage in illegal activities without regard for the law. Impunity has once again bred permissiveness.


Two more lawmakers have joined this “infant terrible” of the U.S. Congress. Democratic Congressman from Texas Henry Cuellar was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on the same charges in May. And once again, its focus is on its lobbying activities. Cuellar is alleged to have accepted money from an unnamed state-owned Azerbaijani oil company and a Mexican bank in exchange for seeking favorable U.S. foreign policy actions in their favor.

Also in May, the FBI brought new charges against another one person – Republican Congressman Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska for lying to the FBI about illegal campaign funds. This story first became public in 2022. Then Fortenberry was suspected of illegally using money from an unnamed Nigerian billionaire to get elected to Congress. The U.S. Department of Justice was able to prove that Fortenberry lied about the source of his campaign funds, but his conviction was later reversed. And now he faces new charges.

Political lobbying, or simply put, legalized bribery for political services, has long been an integral part of the U.S. political system. Many have even seen it as one of the tools of informal “checks and balances” system, an element of stability in the mechanism of interaction between the legislative and executive branches. However, the recent revelation shows that the problem has gotten out of control.

Under the shield of democracy has been created a system in which foreign governments and individuals can legally manipulate U.S. lawmakers for money. We must remember, however, that this is a two-way road. Unscrupulous members of Congress are also happy to line their pockets with money from foreign governments and individuals. As a result, the interests of U.S. lawmakers become the interests of foreign governments.

          Personal Revenge

Moreover even these facts do not fully reflect the whole problem. Now in the United States are becoming more frequent cases of political corruption, when lawmakers themselves pay money to promote desired political attitudes and narratives through “independent” NGO. Not long ago Adam Schiff, a Democratic congressman from California, was found to have paid $4 million to Authentic company owned by Lauren Merchan, to promote a collusion hoax about Trump’s ties to Russia out of personal animosity toward Trump. Lauren Merchan is the daughter of the judge Juan Merchan handling New York prosecution of Trump $4 million case, brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. She hates the billionaire so much and so extreme that she is famous for using a picture of him behind bars as her profile on X. Nevertheless that is hardly a sufficient reason to carry out politically motivated missions. Once again, permissiveness has bred a sense of self-exclusivity and a disregard for the law.

By the way, this is not Schiff’s only offense. He is under indictment for ethics violations, election fraud and mortgage fraud. He has every chance of joining the campaigns of B. Menendez, H. Cuellar and J. Fortenberry in the nearest future.

         Bleak future perspectives

It must be recognized that the problem of corruption in Congress is not new. What is new is the extent to which it has reached in recent times. However, this should not come as a surprise since as the investigation into the Burisma Holdings case has shown that even the current President Joe Biden was deeply involved in corruption and illegal influence peddling.

The U.S. law enforcement and judicial systems have a long way to go to purge the country’s political class of high-level corrupt officials. And no one can guarantee that new, even more ruthless bribe-takers will not emerge. That’s why the efforts of the American justice system increasingly resemble the proverbial Sisyphean action.

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