Report: Menendez again claims innocence as indictment talk gains steam

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One day after the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) could be indicted on criminal corruption charges as early as this week, the former Union City mayor again denied any wrongdoing at a press conference earlier today, according to Politicker NJ

Robert Menendez

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Following an event in Garwood where Menendez announced his plans to introduce the America Star Act, which would encourage companies to make products in American and hire American-born workers, the senator inevitably had to answer questions about his relationship with friend/political donor Salomon Melgen.

“I’ll say the same thing I said two weeks ago when there was a different press report, and that is that I have always acted appropriately and legally,” Politicker NJ quoted Menendez.

Menendez has reportedly been under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for at least the past two years over whether or not he used his influence to try and benefit Melgen, a Florida ophthalmologist.

Menendez also reiterated his position from earlier in the month (h/t Politico) that leaking criminal charges to the press is illegal, and therefore should be investigated.

“Leaks are in violation of the law. All of us who care justice and the law, should be concerned about where those leaks come from, even if you are the press and you take advantage of the leaks,” Menendez reportedly said today.

“You have to wonder – when there is a violation of the law and no one seems to be upset with that violation of the law. We will respond to any issues, any inquires and allegations when the time comes. Leaks in violation of the law should be investigated and prosecuted.”

A well-known ally of the Hudson County Democratic Organization, Menendez attended the 34th annual Bayonne St. Patrick’s Day parade yesterday and was said to be in good spirits throughout the day.