Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters Wednesday he did not need "ethics guidance" from Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.), who was indicted on federal corruption charges in 2015.
"I don't get my ethics guidance from a man who was criminally prosecuted," he said. "Case Number 15-155. New Jersey Federal District Court."
Pompeo said Menendez's office was the source of recent media reports about his conduct at the State Department. He defended his recommendation that President Donald Trump fire State Department Inspector General Steve Linick, who was investigating Pompeo for alleged misconduct.
The Justice Department dropped the fraud and bribery charges against Menendez in 2018 after his federal trial ended in a hung jury. The Senate Ethics Committee formally admonished him, however, for his conduct, which concerned accepting gifts and money from his friend Dr. Salomon Melgen and using his office to advance Melgen's interests.