- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Robert Menendez’s office says he traveled on a plane owned by a Florida physician who is a friend and political donor, but denied that the senator had engaged with prostitutes in the Dominican Republic.

The New Jersey Democrat’s office issued the denial Wednesday. It said he had traveled on three occasions on Dr. Salomon Melgen’s airplane. The FBI searched Dr. Melgen’s West Palm Beach, Fla., office Tuesday night and early Wednesday, but it was unclear if the raid was related to Mr. Menendez.

Mr. Menendez’s office said the trips were “paid for and reported appropriately.”

The Daily Caller, a conservative website, reported shortly before the election that Mr. Menendez traveled on Dr. Melgen’s private plane to the Dominican Republic to engage in sex with prostitutes. The FBI has refused to comment on whether Mr. Menendez is under investigation.

Mr. Menendez is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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