Two FBI sources have told The Daily Caller that the bureau’s inquiry into Democratic New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez is now based in New Jersey, not Miami. One added that pressure is mounting from the highest levels of the Justice Department to pursue the investigation.
The change of focus away from the bureau’s Miami field office indicates that the government is focused primarily on Sen. Menendez — and not on his longtime donor Dr. Salomon Melgen, as political observers have speculated.
Menendez is embroiled in a scandal sparked by allegations that he slept with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic. (RELATED: Handwritten account recalls sex with Menendez “when I was 16 years old”)
The Daily Caller first reported in 2012 on the allegations, publishing videotaped interviews with two women, neither of whom was under 18 years old, who said they were paid to have sex with the senator.
One source, a current agent in an East Coast field office, declined to be quoted but told TheDC that the initial investigation began in Miami and was later moved to Newark, New Jersey.
He would not specify who was managing the investigation or when it was moved north.
The other source is a recently retired agent with direct knowledge of the investigation.
Documents published online in January by an anonymous whistle-blower included emails to and from an FBI agent based in Miami. (RELATED: Dominican prostitute says Menendez “likes the youngest and newest girls”)
“I don’t have a comment,” Special Agent Barbara Woodruff told TheDC from the Newark Field Office. “Per DOJ policy, we cannot comment on the existence or non-existence of any investigation.”
Citing its own sources close to Menendez, PolitickerNJ reported Monday evening that the FBI has had no contact with the senator about its investigation.
Menendez has forcefully denied any involvement with prostitutes of any age, though he recently reimbursed Melgen $58,500 for two private jet trips to the Dominican Republican in 2010.