Evidence against Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey is being considered by a federal grand jury in Florida, the Washington Post reports.
Three sources informed the Post that prosecutors are focusing on the relationship between Menendez and donor Salomon Melgen. The Post reported in February that Menendez twice intervened on behalf of Melgen in a dispute over allegations that the donor's Florida eye clinic was overbilling Medicare to a tune of $8.9 million.
The New York Times reported in February Menendez also intervened on behalf of Melgen to protect the donor's port security contract in the Dominican Republic valued at $500 million over 20 years.
Menendez declined to tell the Washington Post if he was aware of the grand jury probe, merely saying, "I believe that when any review reviews the facts, they will determine that I have acted appropriately at all times."
Beginning in November, Menendez has been the subject of a media circus focusing on reports that he patronized prostitutes in the Dominican Republic and in the U.S.. Over the past several months it emerged that Menendez may have aided Melgen—who took the senator on his private jet to the Caribbean—with business interests before key Senate committees.
Menendez has consistently denied what he calls politically motivated "smears." However, in January he wrote a check for $58,500—up to 87 percent of his personal wealth, according to the National Journal—to reimburse Melgen for two flights to the Dominican Republic.
Earlier this month the Washington Post reported that one of the two women who made the initial accusations that Menendez paid them for sex had recanted in an affidavit. The claim was dismissed by The Daily Caller, which produced the first story on the scandal, in a post noting that the two women provided their names, and that neither was Nexis de los Santos Santana, the woman who is now claiming she was paid to lie. The affidavit was circulated by a Dominican attorney who, according to the anonymous whistleblower who initiated the scandal, used his yacht for prostitution-related activities with Menendez.