Report: U.S. investigating N.J. Sen. Menendez

Jan. 25, 2014 at 9:47 PM   |   0 comments

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JERSEY CITY, N.J., Jan. 25 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., criticized a report federal authorities are investigating him, saying the report is based on "anonymous sources."

WNBC-TV, New York, reported Thursday federal investigators were looking into whether Menendez helped Ecuadorian bankers Roberto and William Isaias with immigration issues in 2012 in return for campaign contributions from the Isaias family.

Menendez -- who came under scrutiny a year ago because of what turned out to be false allegations he solicited prostitutes in the Dominican Republic -- called the report "ridiculous," the Star-Ledger of Newark said Saturday.

Menendez said he treated the Isaias brothers -- who were accused of embezzling more than $100 million -- the same as other immigrants who ask his office for help, the newspaper reported.

Citing sources it did not identify, WNBC-TV reported federal authorities were conducting a criminal investigation into whether Menendez contacted Department of Homeland Security and Department of State officials on behalf of the brothers in return for campaign contributions members of the brothers' family.

"A year after a false smear campaign was launched against me, once again we see anonymous sources," Menendez said. "I wish we had these sources quoted. I'd like them to come forth."

Although the report last year about prostitutes in the Dominican Republic -- first published by the right-wing Daily Caller -- were false, a federal grand jury in Florida is said to be looking into Menendez's official efforts on behalf of a supporter, Salomon Melgen, the Star-Ledger said.

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