A federal grand jury in Miami is now investigating Sen. Bob Menendez. That’s according to the Washington Post whose sources say the grand jury is looking into the way the senator tried to help his biggest political donor.
“I welcome any review but I have no intention of having the smears that tried to deviate me from the work that I have been doing and will continue to do,” Menendez said last Saturday before news of the grand jury investigation broke.
But the senator had already been fighting back against a report in The Daily Caller that claimed he’d consorted with prostitutes in the Dominican Republic.
“Nameless, faceless, anonymous sources now became the standard for driving from the extreme to the mainstream news,” Menendez said Monday.
In fact, one of the alleged prostitutes has now recanted her story, claiming she’s not a prostitute but she was paid to lie. But Menendez has admitted traveling to the Dominican Republic on the private plane of his friend and donor Dr. Salomon Melgen and not paying for those flights for two years, until after news of them had broken. Menendez said they fell through the cracks, but it’s what he failed to say at two Senate hearings that could be the most damaging to him.
“He advocated on behalf of a Dominican poor contract that Dr. Melgen had with the Dominican Republic which was stalled, and he did it chairing the committee where he had considerable sway asking American officials to put pressure on the Dominican Republic to enforce this contract,” WNYC investigative reporter Bob Hennelly said.
The FBI raided Melgen’s Florida offices back in January after Medicare demanded millions in refunds for alleged over-billing. Menendez’s office admits interceding in that dispute, calling federal health officials on behalf of Melgen.
And today they issued a statement saying they “welcome any review because Sen. Menendez’s actions have always been appropriate and we believe the facts will confirm that.”