The United States Department of Justice is preparing corruption charges against U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), for allegedly using his office to push the business interests of a campaign donor/friend, according to a report by CNN.Â
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Citing anonymous sources briefed on the case, CNN reports that “Attorney General Eric Holder has signed off on a prosecutor’s request to proceed with charges.”
The charges allegedly revolve around Menendez’s relationship with Florida doctor Salomon Melgen, partially centering on 2010 trips he made to a mansion owned by Melgen in the Dominican Republic.
Menendez paid back $58,000 to Melgen in flight expenses in 2013, though has remained staunch in his stance that he has not committed any wrongdoing in the situation.
Last week, NJ Advance Media reported that a legislative assistant and former chief counsel were trying to avoid testifying in a federal grand jury probe of Menendez by citing the Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause – which Â “only allow senators to be questioned about legislative acts on the Senate floor.”
Following claims that Menendez had sexual relations with prostitutes while at Melgen’s mansion in late 2012, the FBI raided Melgen’s Florida office in October 2013, per CNN.
In July of last year, Menendez, whose parents were born and raised in Cuba, told The Washington Post that the U.S. Department of Justice should investigate the Cuban government for orchestrating a smear campaign against him in the form of the sex scandal prior to his 2012 re-election campaign.
A spokesman for Menendez did not immediately return a call or voicemail seeking comment from Hudson County View, but this story will be updated in the event comment is given.