Bob Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, was charged with a corruption-related offence for the second time in ten years on Friday.
Let’s read the rest of the article to learn more about the specifics of the charges levied against him.
What is Menendez accused of?
Menendez is accused of three offences, including participating in a bribery plot.
His wife Nadine and three other people, Wael Hana, Jose Uribe, and Fred Daibes, alleged business colleagues and residents of New Jersey, are also accused in the conspiracy counts.
On Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. ET, Menendez and the other defendants will make their court appearance.
The group is charged with working together to leverage Menendez’s influence as a US senator for their gain and the benefit of Egypt.
According to the indictment, prosecutors accuse Menendez of attempting to influence the president’s pick of the top federal prosecutor in New Jersey to favour one of the business associates and pressure the Department of Agriculture to defend a business monopoly that another contact had acquired from Egypt.
In 2019, the Department of Agriculture contacted Egypt to express its displeasure with them offering Menendez’s contact, Hana, exclusive rights to export halal meat to the US.
But in May 2019, Hana met Menendez in his office with several other people, including an Egyptian intelligence official, to ask for assistance overcoming the US agency’s opposition.
That evening, the party had supper at a steakhouse in Washington, DC, according to the indictment.
Two days later, Menendez allegedly called a representative of the Agriculture Department and pleaded with them to stop obstructing Hana’s business plan.
What happened to Bob Menendez?
The recently revealed federal indictment accuses Bob 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.
The Justice Department has charged Menendez with corruption twice in the last ten years.
Before this, he battled off allegations of conspiracy, bribery, and honest services fraud involving purported personal favours.
Next year, Menendez will be up for reelection. Since 2006, he has served in the Senate.
Menendez will be required to resign from his position as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee due to Senate Democratic Caucus rules, but he can still participate in the committee.
Menebdez’s home was searched for corrupt wealth
The indictment claims that during searches of Menendez’s residence and safe deposit box in 2022, federal investigators discovered over $500,000 in cash, including in envelopes concealed under jackets bearing Menendez’s name.
According to the prosecution, three of the envelopes had the DNA or fingerprints of one of the business associates whom the senator is accused of accepting bribes.
A “luxury vehicle paid for by [Jose] Uribe parked in the garage,” as well as furniture from other business acquaintances and gold bars, were also discovered by the federal agents who investigated Menendez’s residence.
His previous charges
In 2015, Menendez was charged with conspiracy, bribery, and honest services fraud in connection with allegedly abusing the authority of his position by federal prosecutors from the US attorney’s office in New Jersey.
According to the prosecution, the affluent ophthalmologist Dr Salomon Melgen gave the senator more than $600,000 in campaign donations, a lavish hotel suite at the Park Hyatt in Paris, and free trips on a private plane in exchange for political favours.