Emails between Sen. Robert Menendez's office and the Homeland Security Department describe efforts by the New Jersey Democrat in January to thwart any U.S. donations of cargo-screening equipment to the government of the Dominican Republic. Donated equipment could have jeopardized a Dominican port security contract benefiting a close Menendez associate and fundraiser.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The emails came six months after Menendez raised concerns about the Dominican government's port security in a Senate hearing with senior officials from the State and Commerce departments. In the hearing and emails, Menendez and his staff did not name the private firm. But a company run by Dr. Salomon Melgen, Menendez's biggest donor, has pushed to secure a lucrative port security contract with the Dominican government.

The emails were disclosed Monday by the New York Times.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.