WASHINGTON (AP) – A Minnesota senator will return campaign contributions she received from her newly indicted colleague, New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, a campaign aide to the Minnesota lawmaker said Wednesday.
The aide, Justin Buoen, said Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar will also return contributions she received from Dr. Salomon Melgen, a Menendez friend and donor.
Menendez, another Democrat, is accused of performing political favors for Melgen, who was also indicted Wednesday, in exchange for almost $1 million worth of gifts and campaign contributions. Menendez said he will fight the charges.
"Our campaign has never received questions from federal authorities about these contributions," Buoen said in a written statement. "The campaign is returning the contributions and will also be returning the contributions received from Senator Menendez's PAC," or political action committee.
Klobuchar matches the description of a lawmaker called "Senator 1" in the indictment.
The indictment says Menendez and Senator 1 agreed to raise $25,000 for each other during their successful 2012 re-relection campaigns. It says Melgen and his wife ended up contributing $8,000 to Senator 1. Federal Election Commission records show Klobuchar received that amount from the Melgens.
Senator 1 is not accused of wrongdoing.
Klobuchar, 54, is a former prosecutor first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006.
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