- The Washington Times - Monday, February 11, 2013

Embattled N.J. Sen. Robert Menendez — who faces questions and controversies over allegations he used his political influence to help his Florida friend and campaign donor obtain favorable business deals — has received some support a few states over: Sen. Dick Durbin from Illinois says he shouldn’t resign yet.

Sen. Menendez has given us an assurance that there is no substance to these charges,” Mr. Durbin said, on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, according to a report in The Star-Ledger. “It’s being looked at by the Ethics Committee. Of course, I can’t comment beyond that.”

Mr. Durbin — the No. 2 ranking Democrat in the Senate — said Mr. Menendez should not resign from his seat, according to The Star-Ledger.

Meanwhile, Mr. Menendez said a day earlier that he has no intention of resigning, the report continued — despite calls from The New York Times Editorial Board urging him to step down, at least temporarily.

In January, agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the Florida offices of eye doctor Salomon Melgen, a friend and campaign donor to Mr. Menendez. Investigators are looking at trips the two made on the doctor’s private jet, and whether taxpayers were properly refunded for their costs. Questions have also surfaced about parties with prostitutes Mr. Menendez and Mr. Melgen allegedly attended while in the Dominican Republican, as first reported by The Daily Caller.

Mr. Menendez’s office has denied the senator partied with prostitutes. Staffers have also said Mr. Menendez reimbursed taxpayers for the cost of the trips as soon as he was informed he ought to.

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