- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 7, 2015

Sen. Ted Cruz on Saturday questioned whether a federal investigation of Sen. Robert Menendez is politically motivated due to the New Jersey Democrat’s opposition to President Obama’s negotiations with Iran.

“The timing seems awfully coincidental that…in the very week that Bob Menendez showed incredible courage to speak out and call out President Obama for the damage that his policy is doing to our national security…the Justice Department announces they’re moving forward with the criminal prosecution,” Mr. Cruz, a Texas Republican, told reporters assembled for the Iowa Ag Summit.

Mr. Menendez, the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been at odds with the president over several foreign policy issues, including the administration’s desire to relax the embargo of Cuba and negotiations with Iran over its nuclear weapons program.

On Friday, news broke that the Justice Department is likely moving forward with plans to charge Sen. Menendez with criminal corruption, arguing that he used his political office to protect and secure contracts for a friend and donor.

The FBI has been investigating Mr. Menendez since at least 2013, but Mr. Cruz called the timing “curious,” The Hill reported Saturday.

“This investigation has been going on for over a year and yet the very week they announce a pending indictment comes within hours after Senator Menendez showing courage to speak out against President Obama’s dangerous foreign policy that is risking the national security of this country,” Mr. Cruz said, The Hill reported.

“It raises the suggestion to other Democrats that if you dare part from the Obama White House, that criminal prosecutions will be used potentially as a political weapon against you as well,” Mr. Cruz continued.

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