Menendez, left, is defending himself against allegations of an ethics and travel scandal.
The memo did not address recent news reports that Menendez intervened on behalf of companies in which Melgen held an ownership stake. The New York Times last week reported that Melgen was a part-owner of ICSSI, a Caribbean port-security firm, and that Menendez intervened on the company’s behalf regarding a contract worth as much as $500 million. It also reported that Melgen’s company had donated $700,000 to a super PAC that provided $582,500 to Mendendez’s 2012 re-election effort. Menendez won a second full term in November.
Pushing back on other reports that said Menendez intervened on Melgen’s behalf regarding Medicare contracts, Menendez told Hispanic media outlets at the Capitol, according to a report on abcnews.com , that he raised concerns “over policy and over ambiguities that are difficult for medical providers to understand and to seek a clarification of that.”
“The bottom line is, we raised concerns with CMS over policy and over ambiguities that are difficult for medical providers to understand and to seek a clarification,” Menendez told the news agency, referring to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
O’Brien did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Niels Lesniewski contributed to this story.
An earlier version of this article misspelled Salomon Melgen's name.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.