NEWARK, N.J. — A former staffer for U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez testified Monday that the New Jersey Democrat was involved in helping with the visa applications of friends of a wealthy doctor who is on trial with him.
Under direct questioning from the government, former senior policy adviser Mark Lopes testified that Menendez emailed him in 2008 authorizing a letter of support from Menendez to be sent to consular officials regarding the visa applications of two sisters from the Dominican Republic.
One of the emails sent around the time had a subject line that read: “Dr. Melgen’s request.”
When the applications were denied despite Menendez’s signed letter, Lopes testified, Menendez instructed him to reach out to the U.S. ambassador.
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