Sen. Bob Menendez might have peddled influence (Melgen, Raul Yzaguirre, Dominican Republic)
Sen. Robert Menendez, the powerful New Jersey Democrat who this week was named chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is facing a Senate ethics probe into whether he accepted inappropriate gifts from a wealthy Florida eye surgeon who is under FBI investigation.
The Senate Ethics Committee is conducting a preliminary investigation of two trips Menendez took to a luxury beach resort in the Dominican Republic in August and September 2010 as a guest of Dr. Salomon Melgen, a longtime friend and political donor.
The review comes on the heels of an FBI raid on Melgen's medical offices in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Tuesday night and Wednesday as part of an investigation into what sources called possible Medicaid fraud.
"We are aware of the news reports regarding the FBI raid on Dr. Melgen's office. The Ethics Committee will follow its established procedures in this matter," Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), vice chairman of the committee, said in a statement.
Another article on this has the following about another person of interest here (link):
The U.S. ambassador to the Dominican Republic, an ally of Menendez, added his voice to the cause, according to reports in the Dominican press. In a meeting with government officials in the island nation, Ambassador Raul Yzaguirre stressed the need for the Dominican Republic to start scanning container ships entering its port for terrorist threats and drugs.