U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez on Wednesday categorically denied allegations that he traveled to the Caribbean with a political donor to use underage prostitutes.
The allegations have been swirling for weeks but came to a head late Tuesday when FBI agents raided the Florida office of eye doctor Salomon Melgen.
“Dr. Melgen has been a friend and political supporter of Senator Menendez for many years,” the office of the New Jersey Democrat said in a statement.
“Senator Menendez has traveled on Dr. Melgen’s plane on three occasions, all of which have been paid for and reported appropriately,” the statement continued.
“Any allegations of engaging with prostitutes are manufactured by a politically-motivated right-wing blog and are false.” The blog referred to is the Daily Caller which has been pursuing the case.
Menendez, 59, a divorced father of two, is due to take over as chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, succeeding John Kerry, who has now been confirmed as secretary of state. He also is a key player in Democratic efforts at immigration reform.
On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told journalists, “I always consider the source” of allegations, referring to The Daily Caller as “a source that has brought up a lot of non-issues.”
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