Report: FBI probing possible Menendez link to prostitutes in Dominican Republic

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), the chairman of the powerful Foreign Relations Committee, is being investigated for possible patronage of prostitutes in the Dominican Republic, according to The Washington Post.

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation has so far found no evidence that the senator did consort with prostitutes in the Dominican Republic, the report states.

FBI agents are looking into whether Menendez was provided with prostitutes by Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen based on an information from a tipster.

Menendez has previously denied that he was involved with prostitutes in the Dominican Republic and his office has alleged a right-wing smear campaign is afoot.

Menendez in January returned $58,000 to Melgen for two airplane trips to the Dominican Republic. Under general Senate rules, no member can accept gifts valued at more than $100 from a single source. An exception is made for personal friendship, but any gifts valued at more than $250 must be given written clearance by the Ethics Committee. Menendez says Melgen is a long-time friend.

The White House and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) have stood behind the New Jersey senator despite his problems.