(Bloomberg) -- The New Jersey attorney general’s office is reviewing the conduct of two law enforcement officials as part of a probe sparked by the federal bribery case against US Senator Robert Menendez.

Gurbir Grewal, the enforcement chief at the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and Andrew Bruck, a top official at the Department of Justice, are both under scrutiny in what the state attorney general described as an “internal inquiry,” according to people familiar with the matter.

Federal prosecutors say Menendez tried to pressure Grewal in 2019, who was then the state attorney general, to “favorably resolve” two criminal matters at the behest of a businessman who bribed the senator with a Mercedes. Bruck was then a top deputy to Grewal.

Neither Grewal nor Bruck were accused of any wrongdoing in the Menendez case, and the federal prosecutor has also said that the public officials approached by the senator resisted his pressure. The review is a wholesale look at the office’s conduct in matters related to the Menendez indictment, according to a person familiar with the probe, who asked not to be identified because the proceedings are confidential. The probe may conclude that the office handled the matters appropriately.

“The internal review would seek to ascertain what was being asked of members of the attorney general’s office and by whom, and what actions followed,” said Darren Gelber, past president of the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey. “There may have been very legitimate law enforcement reasons to dispose of the cases in the way that they did.”

Damian Williams, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York who filed the case against Menendez, said at a Sept. 22 press conference that the officials, whom he didn’t name, did nothing wrong.

“The public officials the senator sought to influence did not bend to the pressure,” Williams said after the indictment was filed. “That’s a good thing.”

The Department of Justice declined to comment on behalf of Bruck, who is now an associate deputy US attorney general. Grewal, as well as a representative for Matthew Platkin, the current New Jersey attorney general, declined to comment.

The Menendez case has caused ripples throughout Washington and New Jersey. While the veteran senator has defied calls from fellow Democrats to step down, the scandal has set off a scramble for his seat up for election next year. And the Department of Justice has introduced new, stricter procedures for investigating members of Congress at a time when politically-sensitive cases are under extra scrutiny.

Menendez, 69, who pleaded not guilty, faces a May trial date. He’s stepped down as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Tammy Snyder Murphy, wife of Governor Phil Murphy, is running for his seat next year, along with US Representative Andy Kim.

Read more: Menendez Bribery Defense May Lean on ‘Subtle’ Pitch to NJ AG

Grewal served as New Jersey attorney general from 2018 to 2021, when he left for the SEC. Bruck served as acting state attorney general from July 2021 to February 2022. 

Neither have been interviewed by New Jersey prosecutors, according to the people. Grewal has spoken with a representative for the office to say he is willing to cooperate with the probe, one person said.

Bruck is recused from any Department of Justice matters involving the Menendez case, which is standard when an official is a potential witness, one person said.

The New Jersey inquiry was announced on the day the Menendez indictment was released. The review of Grewal and Bruck’s interactions with the senator hasn’t been previously reported. 

The state attorney general’s office cooperated with federal prosecutors, Platkin said in a statement after the indictment, and “we are also engaged in our own independent internal inquiry into the allegations.”

The indictment accused Menendez of conspiracies to commit bribery and to act as an agent of Egypt. He was indicted with his wife, Nadine, and three businessmen. All five pleaded not guilty. Menendez, who has served in the US Senate since 2006, was charged with corruption once before in 2015. The case ended in a mistrial two years later.

Platkin is reviewing the conduct of the state AG’s office in one of the three bribery schemes detailed by federal prosecutors. In that scheme, prosecutors allege that Jose Uribe, an insurance and trucking businessman, gave Menendez a Mercedes in exchange for the senator pressing Grewal to “favorably resolve” two related criminal matters.

Menendez first called Grewal in January 2019 to say the state insurance fraud office was mistreating Hispanics in the trucking industry, and to complain about the treatment of someone in a criminal case, the people said.

Federal prosecutors said that Grewal took no action as a result of the call. Grewal – “Official-2” in the indictment – told investigators he thought the call was inappropriate. Still, the insurance fraud prosecution was concluded through a plea agreement that federal prosecutors said was “more favorable” than one offered earlier in the case.

Menendez tried to intervene again later that year when Grewal and Bruck — referred to in the indictment as a senior official in the AG’s office — met the senator at his office in Newark, the US alleges. Prosecutors said the senator tried to press Grewal to intervene in an investigation related to the one Menendez had called about in January – again at Uribe’s behest.

The meeting was short and unusual, Grewal and Bruck both told the Manhattan prosecutors, the people said. They said there was no formal “ask” from the senator and Menendez had just repeated his earlier remark about Hispanics in the trucking industry.

Neither Grewal nor Bruck intervened after the meeting in the state investigation, which closed without charges, the US said. 

(Updates with details on Menendez case in 10th paragraph.)

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