WASHINGTON — Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., is under federal criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan, according to two people familiar with the matter and a spokesperson for the senator.
“Senator Menendez is aware of an investigation that was reported on today, however he does not know the scope of the investigation,” Menendez’s adviser Michael Soliman said Wednesday in a statement.
Soliman added, “As always, should any official inquiries be made, the senator is available to provide any assistance that is requested of him or his office.”
News of the investigation was first reported by the website Semafor.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York declined to comment.
Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was indicted in 2015 on federal corruption charges of illegally accepting favors from a Florida eye doctor, Salomon Melgen, including flights on a private jet to stay at Melgen’s resort in the Dominican Republic, three nights at a five-star hotel in Paris, and more than $700,000 in political contributions for Menendez as well as the Democratic Party.
That case ended in a mistrial after jurors were unable to reach a unanimous verdict. Several jurors later told reporters that they believed the government’s evidence was not convincing.
Federal prosecutors decided in 2018 not to retry the senator.
Menendez is not up for re-election until 2024. He has served in the Senate since 2006 and previously served in the House.