They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker

When we last heard about the federal investigation of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the FBI was reportedly looking into whether someone had set out to smear the Democrat during his 2012 re-election campaign.

But according to a report Thursday from NBC's New York City affiliate, a federal criminal investigation is still very much focused on Menendez himself, and has widened to include the senator's efforts "on behalf of two fugitive bankers from Ecuador."

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In December 2009, Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, traveled to New York City for an event at the Four Seasons Hotel on East 57th Street. Bob had already been elected to be the next governor of Virginia, but he was still a few weeks away from taking the oath of office.

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and a key executive for a firm linked to the latest allegations against his administration have more than a decade of deep ties to the same charity.

Both Christie and Rockefeller Group Executive Vice President Leslie "Les" Smith have served on the board of Daytop New Jersey, a nonprofit substance abuse treatment and education program with facilities throughout the state. They have also attended and chaired Daytop events together.

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The long-running investigation into former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, finally resulted Tuesday in federal charges filed against both of them.

In a detailed indictment, the government laid out the beginnings of its case against the couple, painting a picture of a powerful but cash-strapped couple who turned to a donor and businessman for financial help and luxury goodies. The whole sad thing, if you take the government at its word, started because Maureen McDonnell wanted a nice dress to wear to her husband's inauguration. (You can read that and other indictment highlights here.)

The indictment also produced a list of the items related to the case the McDonnells will be forced to turn over should they be convicted.

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A video found by TPM on Wednesday shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) speaking in September at a gala where he met with a key executive of the company tied to the latest allegations hitting his administration.

In the video, Christie appears to speak fondly of the executive, Leslie Smith, and refers to him by the name "Les."

The footage, which was originally posted by Newark Star-Ledger newspaper in September, has resurfaced just days after the mayor of Hoboken, N.J. unleashed explosive allegations that involve Christie's administration and Smith's Rockefeller Group development firm.

The mayor said over the weekend that Christie's administration threatened to withhold Hurricane Sandy relief funds from her city unless she approved a real estate project on land owned by the company.

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) met in September with a key executive for a development company at the center of the latest allegations hitting his administration.

The allegations were lodged by Hoboken, N.J. Mayor Dawn Zimmer, who said that the Christie administration threatened to withhold Hurricane Sandy aid from her city unless she approved a development planned for a lot owned by the company.

In a photo first surfaced Tuesday by the Newark Star-Ledger newspaper, Christie and his wife, Mary Pat, were shown standing alongside Rockefeller Group Executive Vice President Leslie Smith at an event last September.

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The George Washington Bridge lane closures scandal isn't just about the bridge and the lanes anymore. While all the attention at first was focused on Fort Lee, N.J. Mayor Mark Sokolich -- whose decision not to endorse Gov. Chris Christie's (R) re-election last year was seen by some as the motivation for the traffic-jamming closures -- in recent days a number of other New Jersey mayors have come forward with fresh allegations about actions taken by Christie's administration. These mayors say they've gotten their own taste Christie retaliation:

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Earlier this month, Bob McDonnell became former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. On Tuesday, he became indicted former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

Just days after he left office, the Republican and and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, were charged in federal court with more than a dozen counts related to the tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and loans they accepted from a wealthy Virginia businessman. (The ex-governor maintained on Tuesday that he had done nothing illegal.)

The fact that the McDonnells were under scrutiny from prosecutors was no secret. Stories about the investigation, and the relationship between the McDonnells and the businessman, Jonnie Williams, had been appearing in the press for months. We knew (thanks in large part to stellar reporting from The Washington Post) about the Rolex, and the Oscar de la Renta dress, and the Ferrari joyride, and the golf outings. But the 43-page indictment filed on Tuesday did reveal numerous new details about the scandal, and confirmed several other points which had been fuzzy or in dispute.

Here are the highlights:

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The New Jersey General Assembly and Senate plan on Tuesday morning to announce the creation of a special joint committee dedicated to investigating the scandal that has fallen on Gov. Chris Christie's (R) administration, a source in the State House confirmed to TPM.

The establishment of the joint committee, which was first reported by NBC News' Michael Isikoff, will be announced at a press conference scheduled for 10:30 a.m.

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Rockefeller Group, the company at the center of explosive allegations made by the mayor of Hoboken, N.J. over the weekend, has an extensive history of spreading campaign cash around New Jersey.

Records show the company and its executives have doled out more than $70,000 to Jersey candidates and committees from both parties, including $2,500 to Gov. Chris Christie.

Rockefeller Group became a focus of attention Saturday when Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer alleged that Christie aides had threatened to withhold hurricane relief money unless she approved a development project that involves the company. Rockefeller owns the land where the project was to be built and was also represented by a law firm founded by a close Christie ally.

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