A federal grand jury has been convened to examine the relationship between New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez and a Florida doctor in an episode which may end up doing as much damage to the reputation of the senator as to the conservative website that first published allegations against him.
According to the Washington Post, the grand jury last month began issuing subpoenas for the business records of Salomon Melgen, a ophthalmologist who has been linked to Menendez both personally and through campaign contributions. Among other things, investigators from the FBI have been looking into allegations that Melgen arranged prostitutes for the senator during trips to the Dominican Republic and Menendez's role advocating for a $500 million security contract for a company linked to the doctor.
Today's news is hardly a surprise, but, really, an escalation. It's been known that the FBI has been investigating the pair for months. According to the Post, the investigation was launched last year on two fronts simultaneously. At first, the FBI was investigating whether or not Melgen overbills Medicare for treatments. Then, last fall, the agency got an anonymous tip with the prostitution allegations.