NEW JERSEY – New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez is paying tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees and is establishing a legal defense fund as part of a federal criminal investigation, according to campaign financial records and a gatekeeper. – speech of the senator.

The new campaign materials come as the senator was the subject of an ongoing corruption investigation in the Southern District of New York. Campaign finance records show the Menendez campaign spent about $200,000 to pay for two law firms and a document search company.

Sources familiar with the matter previously said Menendez was under criminal investigation over a Weehawken meat company, IS EG Halal, which won an exclusive contract with the Egyptian government. Several sources said that the owners of this company had already given expensive gifts to the wife of the senator.

Lawyers for the company and a spokesperson for Menéndez have denied any wrongdoing.

Investigators have sent out dozens of subpoenas and sources familiar with the matter said they are looking into whether Menendez used his position as chairman of the foreign relations committee, which oversees $2 billion in aid to the United States. Egypt, to help the New Jersey company secure exclusivity. contract.

In recent filings, the Menendez campaign reported paying $127,343 to the Winston and Strawn law firm, and another $48,000 to the Schetler and Oronato law firm. Another $55,000 was paid to a Haystack document search company.

A spokeswoman for Democrats declined to elaborate on what the payments were for, but issued a statement saying Menendez is “confident that this official investigation will be successfully closed, but since it has not yet been resolved, he will open a separate legal defense fund.” so as not to drain more campaign funds.”

The law firms did not respond to requests for comment. Spokespersons for the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office also declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.

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