Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (NJ), his wife Nadine Menendez, and three businessmen have been indicted on corruption charges, with allegations of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. The indictment includes charges of conspiracy to commit bribery and conspiracy to commit fraud. Despite the charges, Menendez remains defiant, rejecting pressure to resign.
As reported by the Free Beacon, the indictment alleges that the senator and his wife received bribes including gold bars and cash in exchange for benefiting their associates and the Egyptian government. The couple allegedly received over $480,000 in cash, much of which was hidden in envelopes and stashed in clothing, closets, and a safe. They are also accused of accepting home furnishings and a Mercedes-Benz C-300 from their associates.
Federal agents found gold bars worth more than $100,000 in the Menendez home. These were allegedly provided by either Wael Hana or Fred Daibes, two of the businessmen involved in the scheme.
Aside from financial gain, the indictment accuses Menendez of providing sensitive U.S. government information that aided the Egyptian government. Menendez is alleged to have requested and received non-public information from the State Department and forwarded it to an Egyptian government official.
Furthermore, Menendez is accused of secretly lobbying on behalf of Egypt, editing and ghostwriting a letter meant to persuade other U.S. senators to release a hold on $300 million in aid to the country. He is also alleged to have demanded that an official from the U.S. Department of Agriculture drop objections to a halal food certification monopoly owned by Hana.
The senator is also accused of meddling with the justice system, attempting to influence a prosecutor in the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office to resolve cases in favor of another associate, Jose Uribe. In exchange for this interference, Uribe allegedly gave Nadine Menendez the aforementioned Mercedes-Benz convertible.
Menendez also allegedly supported the nomination of Philip Sellinger as New Jersey’s U.S. attorney based on assurances that Sellinger would not recuse himself from a prosecution of Daibes. In exchange, Daibes is said to have given Menendez gold bars.
Lastly, it is alleged that Menendez provided a senior Egyptian intelligence official with information about questions that other U.S. senators planned to ask in a subsequent meeting. This information was allegedly passed on by Nadine Menendez, allowing the official to prepare responses in advance. Following this incident, Hana reportedly purchased more gold bars, two of which ended up in the Menendez home.
Despite these serious allegations, Menendez remains defiant and has indicated that he will not resign, even in the face of multiple colleagues from his own party calling for his resignation.