According to the Justice Department, Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey has been charged with taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes.
Following a federal investigation, Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., was charged with corruption on Friday in Manhattan, N.Y., according to allegations that he accepted luxury goods and large sums of money in bribes in exchange for engaging in corrupt acts, including giving sensitive information to the Egyptian government.
The recently revealed federal indictment accuses Menendez and his wife, Nadine Arslanian Menendez, of taking “hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes” in exchange for the senator’s influence.
Gold, cash, home mortgage payments, remuneration for a “low-or-no-show job,” and a luxury automobile, according to the prosecution, were among the bribes offered.
It is alleged in the indictment, which is Menendez’s second in eight years as a powerful Democrat from New Jersey, that he improperly combined his private interests in fostering relationships with wealthy businessmen with his duties as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
On Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., all five are anticipated to show up in federal court in Manhattan for their initial hearing.
In his first public response to the allegations, Menendez claimed that the indictment was full of untrue accusations and that it was a product of an ongoing political smear campaign using “anonymous sources and innuendos to create an air of impropriety where none exists.”
According to the 39-page indictment, his “leadership position on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (the “SFRC”), first as the Ranking Member and then as the Chairman, allowed him to sell influence in these fields.”
Mrs. Menendez, in a statement from her attorneys, said she would defend herself in court and denied any misconduct. Additionally, Mr. Menendez refuted the accusations and claimed that they were driven by politics.
Additionally, Menendez is charged with attempting to sabotage the prosecution of one of the businessmen by lobbying for the appointment of Philip R. Sellinger to the position of U.S. attorney for New Jersey because he believed he could exert influence on Sellinger. According to the prosecution, “He allegedly tried to use his position of authority to interfere with a different investigation by the New Jersey Attorney General’s office.”
As of Friday, the senator said that the prosecution “misrepresented the normal work of a Congressional office.”
They have insulted my wife for the lifetime friendships she had before she and I even met, he added. not satisfied with leveling untrue accusations against me.
Agents claimed to have discovered a Mercedes-Benz luxury car that Mr. Uribe had purchased parked in the garage as well as $100,000 worth of gold bars inside the house; images of the gold bars were included in the indictment.
Authorities discovered $480,000 in cash in Menendez’s home, much of it stashed in closets, clothing, and a safe, along with more than $100,000 worth of gold bars, according to the prosecution. Cash that was concealed in envelopes discovered in coats bearing Menendez’s name can be seen in photos from the indictment. Google searches by Menendez for “how much is one kilo of gold worth” and DNA from one of his co-defendants on an envelope containing thousands of dollars in cash were discovered by authorities, they claimed.
As the investigation is ongoing, further charges could be filed, according to U.S. Attorney Damian Williams for the Southern District of New York.
In a press conference on Friday, he added, “We’re not through yet. He exhorted anyone with additional information to speak up.
The three New Jersey businessmen, Mr. Hana, and Mr. Menendez’s wife, according to the complaint, conspired to introduce the senator to Egyptian intelligence and military officers. According to authorities, Mr. Hana, who is Egyptian, and Mrs. Menendez exchanged a large number of text conversations that the latter later erased from her phone.
According to the indictment, Mr. Hana and Mrs. Menendez created a “corrupt agreement” in which the New Jersey businessman gave money in exchange for the senator helping the Egyptian government by making international weapons sales and financing.
Nadine Menendez “denies any criminal conduct,” according to her attorney David Schertler, and “will vigorously contest these charges in court.”
Senate Historical Office’s Reports On Menendez
According to the Senate Historical Office, Menendez looks to be the first sitting senator in American history to have been charged with two separate crimes. He is up for reelection in 2018, hoping to continue his three-decade career in Washington despite the Democrats’ slim Senate majority.
Due to paramount American national security interests in the area, Egypt has long been a leading recipient of government aid from the United States, receiving more than $1 billion a year. However, the relationship has been strained by worries over the country’s abuse of human rights.
Despite not being classified, this information is considered highly sensitive by the prosecution “because it could pose significant operational security concerns if disclosed to a foreign government or if made public.”
Menendez then transmitted the material to an Egyptian government official after sending it to his fiancée, Hana, and Hana’s girlfriend. Later that month, at a dinner Hana hosted at a posh restaurant, Menendez allegedly revealed to Hana information that was not generally known about the United States providing of military assistance to Egypt.
A belligerent Menendez warned at a news conference in 2017 after it was revealed that his mistrial had occurred. He said, “I know who you are, and I won’t forget you. To those who were digging my political tomb so they could jump into my seat.