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Report: Grand Jury Investigating NJ Sen. Menendez

Friday, March 15, 2013

A federal grand jury in Miami is reportedly investigating New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez over his role in advocating for the business interests of his friend Salomon Melgen, a Florida eye doctor who's a major contributor to Menendez.

The Washington Post reports the grand jury has issued subpoenas for Melgen’s business and financial records and cites three people familiar with the probe, who all spoke on condition of anonymity. They say FBI agents have conducted interviews in the Dominican Republic and in the U.S., but have not contacted Senator Menendez.

A spokesperson for the Senator tells WNYC that Menendez welcomes any review, and that the facts will confirm his actions were appropriate.

The spokesperson also calls the allegations "false smears" that have been "orchestrated by Republican political operatives."

Post National Politics Reporter Peter Wallsten says although Sen. Menendez has retained the support of colleagues like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the probe could affect his ability to do his job.

“He seems to be spending a lot of his time at the moment in the midst of these bipartisan talks on immigration and that’s really coming to a head over the next few weeks and all of this happening at once has got to be putting a lot of stress on him,” Wallsten said.

WNYC's Amy Eddings spoke Friday to Wallsten.

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