is an American politician serving as the senior United States Senator from New Jersey, a seat he has held since 2006. A member of the Democratic Party, he was first appointed to the U.S. Senate by Governor Jon Corzine, and was later elected Chair of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in January 2013. He stepped down as Ranking Member of the Foreign Relations Committee in April 2015 upon being indicted on federal corruption charges. In February 2018, after his federal trial was declared a mistrial and those charges had been dropped, he returned to the position. In April 2018, Menendez was "severely admonished" by the United States Senate Select Committee on Ethics who found that he had "over a six-year period... knowingly and repeatedly accepted gifts of significant value... without obtaining required Committee approval, and ... failed to publicly disclose certain gifts as required by Senate Rule and federal law."