According to US media reports, the Department of Justice is preparing to bring criminal corruption charges against Democratic Senator Robert Menendez.
Robert Menendez is alleged to have used his New Jersey office to promote the interests of a Democratic donor, in exchange for gifts.
Attorney General Eric Holder has reportedly given prosecutors permission to proceed with charges.
Senator Robert Menendez has labeled the probe a smear campaign.
“I am not going anywhere,” he said on March 6 at a press conference in New Jersey.
An official announcement from prosecutors is expected in the coming weeks.
Robert Menendez is one of the highest-ranking Hispanic members of Congress and a former chairman of the Senate’s foreign relations committee.
He is also one of President Barack Obama’s strongest opponents on lifting the embargo on Cuba and negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program.
For the past two years, Robert Menendez has faced an investigation into his relationship with friend and donor Dr. Salomon Melgen, following accusations that he paid for underage prostitutes for the senator in the Dominican Republic.
Senator Robert Menendez vehemently disputed the claims and the allegations were eventually withdrawn.
FBI officials continued to look into the ties between the two men and the scrutiny shifted to whether Senator Robert Menendez had traded gifts for official duties.
On March 6, Robert Menendez said that he had known Dr. Salomon Melgen for more than two decades and that their families had been “real friends”.
According to CNN, the government’s case focuses in part on plane trips Robert Menendez took in 2010 to the Dominican Republic as a guest of Dr. Salomon Melgen.
Prosecutors also are examining what role the senator played in helping Dr. Salomon Melgen secure a deal to sell port screening equipment to the government of the Dominican Republic.
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