Dem senator to return campaign donations from Menendez
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Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharRepublicans wrestle with impeachment strategy Klobuchar takes shots at health and education plans supported by Sanders and Warren O'Rourke campaign says path to victory hinges on top 5 finishes in Iowa, Nevada MORE (D-Minn.) will return campaign donations from Sen. Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezRand Paul calls for probe of Democrats over Ukraine letter Senators ask Treasury to probe Brazilian meatpacker with major US footprint Top Foreign Relations Democrat calls on Pompeo to recuse himself from Ukraine matters MORE (D-N.J.), who was indicted Wednesday on charges of corruption. 


While Klobuchar's campaign was never questioned about the donations, an aide told The Hill that the senator would return the contributions, as well as money received from Menendez's political action committee (PAC).

“Our campaign has never received questions from federal authorities about these contributions,” Justin Buoen, an Klobuchar aide, said in a statement. “The campaign is returning the contributions and will also be returning the contributions received from Senator Menendez’s PAC."

Klobuchar is the first Senate Democrat to publicly announce that she will return campaign funds following Menendez's indictment. The Minnesota Democrat will also return campaign funds from Salomon Melgen, the Menendez friend and donor who was also charged Wednesday.

Klobuchar matches the description of "senator 1" in the Justice Department's indictment. "Senator 1" is not accused of any wrongdoing.

Menendez and the senator agreed to raise $25,000 for each other's 2012 Senate campaigns, according to the indictment.

Approximately $8,000 of that, according to the indictment, came from Melgen. The indictment notes that prior to that, "Senator 1" had never received campaign money from Melgen.

Campaign finance records show that Melgen and his wife gave $8,000 to Klobuchar's reelection campaign in 2012.

Other Senate Democrats are already facing pressure to return campaign donations from Menendez. National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Matt Connelly said Wednesday that it's time for Sen. Michael Bennet "to return the $10,000 donation he received from his indicted friend Senator Robert Menendez."

The Justice Department alleges Melgen bribed Menendez with gifts, as well as donations to his legal defense fund set up to pay for legal fees associated with federal and congressional ethics investigations.
 
Menendez is set to appear in court Thursday, where he's expected to plead not guilty to those charges.