DES MOINES, Iowa — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz on Saturday suggested that the reported pending indictment against his colleague Bob Menendez is a result of the New Jersey Democrat's outspoken criticism of President Obama's foreign policy. 

Speaking to reporters at the Iowa Ag Summit, the Texas Republican volunteered that it "seems awfully coincidental" the U.S. Department of Justice is purportedly preparing to bring criminal corruption charges against Menendez, who has vocally opposed the Obama administration's negotiations with Iran about the fate of its nuclear program. The issue was front and center this week as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the Obama administration's strategy before Congress. 

"It raises a suggestion to other Democrats that if you dare part from the Obama White House, that criminal prosecutions will be used potentially as political weapons as well," Cruz told reporters before taking aim at a potential rival in the 2016 presidential race. 

"Contrast that with the crickets we have heard from the Department of Justice" after learning Hillary Clinton exclusively used a private email account as secretary of state, Cruz said. He added that the Justice Department should "absolutely" investigate Clinton and has an "obligation to do so, fairly and impartially." 

The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Later pressed to explain his comments on Menendez, Cruz said his "point is simple. The timing is curious."