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Menendez Ignores Allegations In Speech As New Reports Surface

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez did not answer questions or address a recent FBI raid on the office of a donor while speaking to New Jersey’s Chamber of Commerce in Washington as new allegations are revealed.

FULL COVERAGE: Robert Menendez Allegations

(L-R) Dr. Salomon Mengen and Senator Robert Menendez
(L-R) Dr. Salomon Mengen and Senator Robert Menendez (CNN)

WNBC TV reports that Menendez was instrumental in helping to pass a port security deal that would have been worth millions to Dr. Salomon Melgen, whose eye doctor office in West Palm Beach was raided by the FBI earlier this week. Melgen became owner of ICSSI, a port security company. Menendez referred to the company during a Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearing in August about security in the Dominican Republic.

At the Chamber event the Democrat spoke about how the congressional delegation responded to help those affected by Superstorm Sandy. Menendez sat near and chatted with Republican Gov. Chris Christie at Thursday night’s dinner.

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Earlier on Thursday at an event in which he accepted the endorsement of Harrison’s Democrat Mayor Raymond J. McDonough, Christie said of the FBI’s raid You never know what the real story is until the prosecutors have the opportunity to lay out their evidence,” according to the Star Ledger

Menendez left the dinner without answering questions about Tuesday night’s FBI search of the Florida office of a political donor.

Menendez’s office said he reimbursed the donor this year for the cost of two of three trips Menendez took on the Melgen’s plane to the Dominican Republic in 2010. That could probe problematic for the Senator as well as he violated Senate ethics rules by not reporting the flights in the first place.

“He didn’t pay for it at the time, and he didn’t ask the ethics committee’s permission and then disclose it,” Melanie Sloan, executive director of Washington-based Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics told the Star Ledger. “He clearly violated ethics rules and potentially criminal law, and he waited until he got caught to try to fix it.”


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