Sen. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey, is speaking out about the possibility of facing corruption charges that may come from an investigation into whether he received gifts from a Florida eye doctor in exchange for promoting the doctor’s business.
A federal official familiar with the case told ABC News a criminal charge is a “good possibility,” but a decision may be weeks away. Grand juries in Miami, Florida and in Newark, New Jersey have heard evidence against Menendez that centers on his relationship Dr. Salomon Melgen, a close Menendez ally and Democratic donor.
Late Friday night, Menendez forcefully denied any wrongdoing in a news conference, adamantly saying “I am not going anywhere.”
“Let me be very clear, very clear. I have always conducted myself appropriately and in accordance with the law,” Menendez told reporters in Newark, New Jersey.
Menendez said his close relationship with Dr. Melgen and his family dates back more than two decades. The New Jersey senator declined to answer questions about the case due to the “ongoing inquiry.”
At an event in South Carolina today, Attorney General Eric Holder declined to comment on reports he authorized federal corruption charges against the senator.
“I can’t comment on that,” Holder said.
Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been at the forefront of two major foreign policy fights with the Obama administration in recent months. Menendez, who is of Cuban descent, is the strongest Democratic opponent of President Obama’s plan to normalize relations with Cuba. He also is leading efforts to impose new sanctions on Iran if nuclear negotiators fail to reach a deal.