Scandalous allegations surrounding New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez are putting the Democratic senator and leaders in a tough place as his party engages in an all-out effort to revamp the nation's immigration laws.
Menendez is the only Hispanic Democrat in the Senate — there are two Hispanic Republicans — and is the new chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, so he's widely seen as the point man in the comprehensive immigration reform battle, reports the Hill.
However, Menendez is at the center of a line of bad news, including allegations he went to the Dominican Republic with a donor and hired underaged prostitutes. He is part of a Senate Ethics probe and an FBI investigation of a key campaign donor.
The senator is denying the allegations, claiming they are politically motivated. Key Democrats aren't commenting, beyond a few supportive words. But as the investigation grows, there's a great likelihood that Republicans will start calling for him to step down – although none have yet made that call.
“Sen. Menendez has traveled on Dr. Melgen’s plane on three occasions, all of which have been paid for and reported appropriately,” said Menendez’s office in a statement. “Any allegations of engaging with prostitutes are manufactured by a politically motivated right-wing blog and are false.”
Menendez has not personally addressed the allegations.
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