(USNewsMag.com) – On Sept. 22, a federal grand jury indicted New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez on three counts of bribery.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams announced the charges against Menendez, a Democrat, his wife, Nadine Menendez, as well as three New Jersey businessmen.
From 2018 through 2022, the indictment alleges Menendez and his wife “engaged in a corrupt relationship” with the three businessmen. The bribes allegedly included gold, home mortgage payments, a luxury vehicle, as well as cash, in exchange for the influence of Menendez “to benefit the Arab Republic of Egypt” and to “protect and enrich” the three New Jersey businessmen, Fred Daibes, Wael Hana, and Jose Uribe.
In 2020, Menendez disclosed that his family had accepted a gift of gold bars.
Menendez is accused in the indictment of trying to benefit one of the business associates by attempting to influence who the president chose to be New Jersey’s top federal prosecutor. Menendez is also accused of pressuring the Department of Agriculture to protect a business monopoly that one of the business associates had in Egypt.
First elected to the Senate in 2006, this is the second time Menendez has been charged by the Department of Justice in the past 10 years. In 2016, he was charged with conspiracy, bribery, and “honest services fraud” that was related to alleged personal favors for a wealthy Florida eye doctor and longtime friend of Menendez. In 2017, the trial ended in a mistrial after the jury reported it was deadlocked. He was then acquitted of some charges. In 2018, the remaining charges were dropped by the Department of Justice.
A legal defense fund was established by Menendez in April to help pay for legal fees related to the federal criminal investigation.
Menendez currently serves as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. However, Senate Democratic Caucus rules state that he can still serve on the panel but will be removed from the chairman position. In 2024, Menendez is up for reelection.
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