U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) is expected to be charged today with using his Senate office to push the business interests of a friend and donor, Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen, in exchange for gifts, CNN reports.Â
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Citing anonymous sources within the case, Politico writes that the charges could range from honest services fraud, receiving improper gifts and misusing his office for personal gain.
“While the â€œhonest services fraudâ€ statutory language is very broad, in Menendezâ€™s case, it would mean the New Jersey Democrat allegedly engaged in criminal behavior while in office, depriving the public of their right to his honest services,” the report says.
Additionally, Politico reports that a federal grand jury in Newark has been hearing evidence in the case and Menendez is being investigated by the Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Justice Department.
Menendez traveled to the Dominican Republic on Melgen’s private plane three times in 2010, paying back between $58,000 to $70,000 – depending on reports – out of his pocket after the trips came to light, per CNN.
The FBI also raided Melgen’s office in 2013.
The veteran Democratic politician, who has a strong base in Hudson County, has reiterated that Melgen is a friend and has denied committing any wrongdoing.