POLITICS

Bob Menendez On Corruption Allegations: 'I Am Not Going Anywhere'

03/06/2015 07:42 pm ET | Updated Mar 06, 2015

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) defended himself Friday against allegations of corruption, insisting that he has no plans to leave office.

Addressing reporters in Newark, Menendez said he has "always conducted myself appropriately and in accordance with the law."

Menendez cited his efforts on issues like Superstorm Sandy recovery, sanctions against Iran and the release of the September 11 commission report.

"I fight for these issues and for the people of our country every single day," he said. "That's who I am and I am not going anywhere."

Earlier Friday, CNN reported that the Justice Department is preparing to bring criminal corruption charges against the senator. According to the report, prosecutors will allege in coming weeks that Menendez used his public office to push the business interests of Salomon Melgen, a longtime friend and major donor.

CNN reports:

Investigators have focused in part on plane trips Menendez took in 2010 to the Dominican Republic as a guest of Melgen. In 2013, after word of the federal investigation became public, Menendez paid back Melgen $58,000 for the 2010 plane trips calling his failure to properly disclose the flights an "oversight."

During the Friday press conference, Menendez said he has been friends with Melgen and his family for "more than two decades." The senator declined to make further comments on the allegations, citing an ongoing investigation.

Attorney General Eric Holder has reportedly given permission to prosecutors to pursue the charges. Holder declined to comment on the case

"We believe all of the Senator's actions have been appropriate and lawful and the facts will ultimately confirm that," Menendez communications director Tricia Enright said Friday. "Any actions taken by Senator Menendez or his office have been to appropriately address public policy issues and not for any other reason."

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