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Ted Cruz: DOJ should investigate Hillary Clinton's email

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, during the Iowa Agriculture Summit, Saturday, March 7, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, during the Iowa Agriculture Summit, Saturday, March 7, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa.

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz said Saturday that the Justice Department should investigate Hillary Clinton's use of a private email account while she served as secretary of state.

The DOJ should "absolutely" launch an investigation, Cruz told reporters after speaking at an agriculture event here that also drew other potential Republican presidential hopefuls to the first-in-the-nation caucus state.

RELATED: Hillary Clinton email saga erupts amid tense relationship with press

Clinton has faced harsh criticism over the past week over her use of a private email account and server while she served as America's top diplomat. The GOP-controlled House Select Committee on Benghazi subpoenaed Clinton's emails earlier this week. Democrats have defended Clinton, and the former secretary of state has said she wants the public to see her messages.

Cruz also suggested pending federal charges against New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez were politically motivated -- tied to Menendez's support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition to a U.S. deal with Iran over their nuclear program.

"The timing is curious," Cruz said. Menendez is reportedly set to be charged with corruption for accepting gifts and vacations from a longtime donor after a years-long investigation.

"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 a political weapon as well," Cruz said. "That's a serious concern."

Netanyahu spoke to Congress on Tuesday, and news that charges against Menendez were likely broke on Friday. Menendez has been an outspoken proponent of additional sanctions against Iran, a move the administration opposes while negotiations are still ongoing with Tehran. 

"Barack Obama has become the president Richard Nixon always wished he could be," Cruz said.