After his last case ended in a mistrial, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and his wife Nadine are now facing indictment on bribery charges. The Department of Justice revealed this bombshell after months of investigation, headed by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams.
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Menendez, who currently serves as the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is charged with multiple crimes, including conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right and conspiracy to commit honest services fraud.
The DOJ issued a statement announcing, “A press event will be held today at 11:00 a.m. to announce the unsealing of an indictment charging Robert Menendez, U.S. Senator from New Jersey, and his wife, Nadine Menendez, with bribery offenses in connection with their corrupt relationship with three New Jersey businessmen.”
The indictment details a corrupt relationship between the senator and New Jersey businessmen Wael Hana, Jose Uribe, and Fred Daibes, who allegedly provided Menendez with bribes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. According to the DOJ, these bribes were intended to protect the businessmen and further the interests of Egypt.
The indictment alleges that these bribes included cash, gold, mortgage payments, compensation for a dubious job, a luxury vehicle, and other valuable items. Authorities even discovered over $480,000 in cash, much of it hidden in envelopes and clothing throughout Menendez’s home, which they have traced back to the businessmen he worked with.
The indictment includes photos showing gold bars and hundred-dollar bills secreted away in clothing.
Adding to the bribery accusations, Menendez is also accused of ghostwriting a letter to fellow senators, urging them to support the release of $300 million in military aid to Egypt. This letter was allegedly composed in collaboration with his wife and the businessmen involved.
Furthermore, the indictment sheds light on Menendez’s association with IS EG Halal, a business that prosecutors argue was used to funnel bribery payments. One businessman is even alleged to have paid for a Mercedes-Benz used by Nadine.
This is not the first time Menendez has faced scandal during his time in the Senate. In 2015, he was indicted on bribery charges related to campaign donations, luxury vacations, golf outings and expensive flights he allegedly received from Florida physician Salomon Melgen as payment for political favors.
Melgen was later convicted on 67 charges for a massive scheme that cost Medicare as much as $105 million. However, Menendez’s trial ended in a mistrial, and he was not convicted.
The senator’s troubles with the law go back even further. In 2012, prosecutors began investigating him following allegations that he was involved with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic.
The news of his latest conviction is making waves among both Democrat and Republican circles, with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and some other state Democratic leaders have called for his resignation. According to Murphy, the “alleged facts” brought before Menendez are grave and “compromise” his ability to do his job as a senator.