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U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez Indicted on Corruption Charges

Senator Menendez speaks during ISIS hearing on Capitol Hill in WashingtonSenator Menendez speaks during ISIS hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) Photograph by Kevin Lamarque — Reuters

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) has been indicted federal corruption charges by a grand jury in Newark, N.J., according to the Associated Press.

Prosecutors allege the two-term Senator improperly used his office to advance the business interests of a close friend and donor in exchange for gifts. With the indictment looming in recent weeks, Menendez has maintained his innocence, insisting any gifts were the product of his long-term friendship with the man, a Florida-based ophthalmologist named Salomon Melgen.

The investigation centered on Menendez’s efforts to help Melgen resolve a dispute with the federal government over his Medicare billings and secure a port security contract in the Dominican Republic. Melgen, along with family members, showered Menendez with campaign contributions and gave him private plane rides. The Senator was forced to repay $70,000 for trips he took to the Dominican Republic once they became public.