Sen. Bob Menendez Indicted in Newark

Democrat charged with bribery, corruption and fraud for allegedly taking gifts from donor.
5:04 | 04/01/15

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Transcript for Sen. Bob Menendez Indicted in Newark
Breaking news indicted New Jersey senator Robert Menendez who thought up accusations of corruption for years. Charged today with helping a friend and donor in exchange for gifts. Ab Tak Hernandez in New York the government case hinges on Menendez relationship with the Florida I actor named Salomon now again. Let's bring in agencies are let signs with more on this story our let the feds have been investigating Menendez for months I understand even looked as far back if 1993. When he was a member of the house. What did they find. That's right senator Menendez has been indicted on conspiracy to commit bribery and wire fraud there's twelve counts that have been raised against him. And also against this Florida I doctor. This all stems on their relationship they've been friends for decades. And elected to Department of Justice is alleging is that. Senator Menendez inappropriately used his position in the senate to help advance the business and financial interests. Doctor Malkin in exchange for guests. So explain now doctor Melvin is implicated in this is well but he is not a member of government what is he charged way. Doctor Melton has been under investigation for quite awhile for overbilling on Medicare as well as some personal and business interest that he has. In port security in other countries. With the Department of Justice is alleging is that senator Menendez took free trips on airplanes received gifts numbering into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. And that he eventually help doctor Malkin tried to secure some financial interest in some personal interests. And that is what is under investigation right now and that he has been indicted for. Now Menendez supporters might say he is been a vocal. Opponent of normalizing relations with Cuba eight north Italy criticizing Iran nuclear negotiations. His opponents might say this is nothing more than political pay back this is someone who's been in the cross hairs of the Federer heads for years. That's right that's the summer same of the Department of Justice has been very careful there donning their I's and crossing their tees making sure that they have all the information. To back up their case senator Menendez has been very local critic of the Obama administration recently on foreign policy first when it comes to Cuba he's a Cuban descent. And she disagrees with president Obama's decisions normalize relations between the US and Cuba he's also been a pretty outspoken critic at the administration's policy on Iran. And he is one of the lead senators who is leading the charge to try to institute new sanctions against Iran. If this deal falls through later this week and in the coming months and which the administration has really strongly opposed. So while some people think that this is political payback the Department of Justice has been working very closely to make sure that they had a viable case against the senator. Now he's on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee did he have any plans to step down from that committee how does this indictment affect his work in the senate. After right now there are no plans for the senator to step down from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee where he is top Democrat. He was the chairman for years until Republicans took over the senate this past January. But right now he's not planning on stepping down normal he necessarily have to and we should probably expect that he is still going to be and the senate. Reinforcing his stance on these foreign policy issues in the coming weeks and over the past. Three years are let there been eleven sitting senators indicted. The last being Republican Ted Stevens from. Alaska certainly this is and not good news for the senate already suffering very low up public opinion in our most recent poll. That's right the exiting senators. And that have been indicted have actually dated all the way back to eighteen no wait the most recent one with senator Ted Stevens of Alaska. He was indicted for inappropriately. Allegedly inappropriately. Receiving guests including thousands of dollars in home renovations for his home in Alaska he was indicted and then she shortly there after it lost reelection. The Bennett the Department of Justice actually came back in cleared him of any wrongdoing and then he died in a plane crash a year later process senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas. About attacking ago she was indicted. Many of these some of them are overturned and a lot of these senators they stand office and they try to fight this the entire way senator Menendez has been very adamant that he has done nothing wrong. Saying that his relationship with doctor Malkin. Has dated back for decking is their very close personal and family friends. In a press conference last month he said that the two of them have often taken family vacations together since he's saying that there is no impropriety. In his or interactions with doctor Malkin and this is something that he is going to continue to try to fight in the courts but in Washington DC and New Jersey. No plans you know anywhere terms of the senate seat and let signs thank you so much. For joining us think you. Eddy can keep up with this story in real time by downloading the ABC news app and starring the story for exclusive updates on that now I'm tired Hernandez in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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