NewsChannel 5 has obtained documents, nearly 60 pages, that started the investigation into Dr. Salomon Melgen and reveals a link between the doctor and Senator Bob Menendez.
Senator Menendez, from New Jersey, is a Washington fixture. He was first elected to Congress in 1992. He's been there ever since. He became a senator in 2006 and won re-election last November.
Doctor Salomon Melgen, from North Palm Beach, has been contributing more than 350-thousand dollars to politicians including about 30-thousand to Senator Menendez.
The undisclosed donation that caught the eye of Menendez' political opponents was the use of Doctor Melgen's private jet. It's based at Palm Beach International Airport, but records show the senator took at least four trips on the plane-- all to the Dominican Republic.
However, Senator Menendez never provided Congress with proof he paid for those flights. He never got permission from the Senate to take free flights, nor did he ever disclose the flights as gifts. These free trips could lead to ethics charges and possibly criminal charges as well.
Beyond the legal ramifications that could come down the road, Senator Menendez is up for the Chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which is one of the most powerful positions in Washington.