WASHINGTON - Sen. Robert Menendez, dogged by a federal corruption probe, was the target of a Cuban intelligence smear plot that managed to fool the FBI and media into investigating.
That's the allegation from Menendez's lawyer, who has asked the Justice Department to investigate, a person familiar with the request confirmed to CNN.
It's a dramatic twist to an already sensational story that involved allegations that Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, traveled to have sex with underage Dominican prostitutes. Those stories, shopped to journalists around Washington for months, were published on a conservative news website before the purported prostitutes recanted and the FBI found no merit in the matter.
Updated 1:54 p.m., 12/10/2013
Washington (CNN) - Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Menendez chose a landmark location to deliver an important proposal.
The Democrat from New Jersey Monday proposed to fellow Garden State resident Alicia Mucci in the Capitol Rotunda Monday. A spokeswoman for the Senator confirmed to CNN that the newly engaged couple soon after spread the word of their impending nuptials as they attended the White House congressional holiday ball, followed by a dinner with friends.
(CNN) - The United States should not take action in Syria, because it would appear to be siding with an opposition force that has extremist elements, Sen. Rand Paul said Monday in the debut of CNN's new "Crossfire."
"We've seen priests beheaded by the Islamic rebels...We've also seen an Islamic rebel eating the heart of a soldier. So it's not like there's no atrocity on the other side, and al Qaeda is on the other side," he said. "I can't conceive of how we would go in and be allies with al Qaeda."
Washington (CNN) - When is a coup not a coup?
According to White House spokesman Jay Carney, when it is an "incredibly complex and difficult situation" involving key Middle East player Egypt that requires more time to figure out what response would be in the best interest of the United States as well as promoting democracy in Egypt.
(CNN) – Any country that offers asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden pits itself against the United States, lawmakers from both parties agreed on Sunday.
Venezuela and Bolivia have extended asylum to Snowden, and Nicaragua has said it would consider it.
(CNN) - While the future of immigration reform is still in question, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a member of the bipartisan Gang of Eight, predicted the Senate will pass the bill with 70 votes or more.
“I think we're going to have a political breakthrough, that Congress is going to pass immigration reform. I think we're going to get plus 70 votes,” he said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I've never been more optimistic about it.”
(CNN) - The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Sunday President Barack Obama was making a sound call in his decision to provide military support to Syrian rebels and suggested such support should include taking out Syrian government airstrips.
"The reality is, we need to tip the scales, not simply to nudge them," Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, said on CNN's "State of the Union," adding that any involvement would best be done with U.S. partners in Europe and in the Gulf region.
(CNN) - Washington's battle over whether the United States should get involved in Syria's civil war took a new turn on Wednesday as the two top senators on the Foreign Relations Committee called for arming rebels and announced that the panel would take up their proposal next week.
Sen. Robert Menendez, the committee's Democratic chairman, and Sen. Bob Corker, the panel's top Republican, introduced legislation to provide lethal weaponry and training "to vetted Syrian groups" fighting forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, they announced in a statement.
(CNN) - Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez questioned decisions made by federal health officials about his friend and major donor Salomon Melgen, an eye doctor tied to a recent scandal surrounding Menendez, a source close to the senator confirmed Thursday.
First reported by The Washington Post, Menendez "raised concerns" with the officials' conclusion that Melgen had overbilled the federal government by $8.9 million in Medicare and Medicaid payments when treating patients at his West Palm Beach clinic.
(CNN) - Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, in an exclusive television interview with CNN on Monday, denied claims that he had engaged in parties with prostitutes during trips to the Dominican Republic.
"The bottom line is all those smears are absolutely false," Menendez told CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash on Capitol Hill.