Menendez allegedly threatened Senate hearings if State Dept. didn't help pal

Menendez allegedly threatened Senate hearings if State Dept. didn't help pal”

A high-ranking State Department official asked the Dominican Republic's president for a "favorable resolution" to a contract dispute a few months after U.S. Sen.

On Monday, it was revealed that Melgen threatened to "make trouble" for Commerce Department officials, through his "politically influential friends", if they did not provide support in the dispute with the Dominican Republic, the New York Times reported. Prosecutors allege that Menendez took lavish gifts, vacations and political donations from Melgen in exchange for using his political influence to further the eye doctor's business and personal interests.

Menendez trial is now in its fourth week and is expected to continue through November.

Wells added that Menendez arranged a meeting with the State Department officials to get them to resolve an global contract dispute between the Dominican Republic and his wealthy friend Salomon Melgen, the Post reported.

Wells said that he traveled with Brownfield to the Dominican Republic after the meeting with Menendez and met with the country's president.

Both men have denied the charges, saying that the gifts were only the product of a decades-long friendship. The lawyer attempted to pressure the government into helping Melgen with a contract dispute, he added.

In an email sent to reporters, Menendez spokeswoman Patricia Enright said the senator "remains keenly interested in U.S". However, Menendez attorney Abbe Lowell said the senator's interest in the matter stemmed from concerns relating to port security and drug trafficking.

Melgen invested millions in a company that had a contract to scan cargo leaving and arriving at the port, but it was never enforced and was becoming worthless. At dispute was his practice of drawing multiple doses of Lucentis, an expensive medication for macular degeneration, from what were supposed to be single-dose vials and billing for each dose independently.

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