Sen. Bob Menendez managed to not go to jail for alleged corruption. So naturally, he's running for re-election in New Jersey this year. And who better to run his campaign than a lobbyist for... Qatar?
Michael Soliman is a longtime aide and confidant to Sen. Bob Menendez. Now the New Jersey Democrat’s campaign chairman, he naturally wants his boss to win reelection this year.
Since 2015, Soliman has also lobbied Menendez and other members of Congress on behalf of the government of Qatar, arranging meetings for the country’s ambassador to the U.S. and raising issues important to Qatar’s relationship with Washington.
Should Menendez defeat Republican Bob Hugin in November and Democrats take control of the Senate, the senator would be poised to chair the Foreign Relations Committee — potentially boosting Soliman’s value as a lobbyist, government watchdogs say.
For those unfamiliar, Qatar seems to have hired basically every lobbyist or advocacy professional in D.C. not already working for rival governments, such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. So Soliman is hardly alone in doing the bidding of a dubious foreign government.
However, his conflict of interest in this situation does appear to be unique.
Of course, that's what you get with Sen. Bob Menendez: Unique and very problematic conflicts of interest and other ethical problems. And Menendez will probably win re-election in November, of course.