The senior Democrat senator and chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is facing renewed questions about his role in the scandal, according to Semafor. Prosecutors in the southern district of New York have “connected to Menendez in recent weeks,” the report says, and investigators “have sent at least one subpoena in the case.”
“Broad outlines of the new inquiry are similar to the 2017 case, but the new investigation involves an entirely different group of people,” the outlet reported.
Menendez and Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen were indicted by the Justice Department in April 2015 for their roles in a bribery scheme. Menendez was accused of accepting gifts from Melgen in exchange for political favors.
“According to allegations in the indictment, between January 2006 and January 2013, Menendez accepted close to $1 million worth of lavish gifts and campaign contributions from Melgen in exchange for using the power of his Senate office to influence the outcome of ongoing contractual and Medicare billing disputes worth tens of millions of dollars to Melgen and to support the visa applications of several of Melgen’s girlfriends,” the Justice Department said at the time.
The jury, however, deadlocked on the charges in 2017, forcing the federal judge overseeing the case to declare a mistrial. Menendez was eventually acquitted on seven of the numerous accounts against him.
A spokesperson for Menendez, Michael Soliman, said in a statement that the senator “is aware of an investigation,” but “does not know the scope.”
“As always, should any official inquiries be made, the senator is available to provide any assistance that is requested of him or his office,” he added.