Democrat Senator from New Jersey state, Bob Menendez, and his wife have been indicted by a federal grand jury in New York on charges of bribery in connection with their relationship with three New Jersey businesspeople.
The indictment alleges that Bob Menendez and his wife accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in cash, gold bars, a Mercedes-Benz C-300 convertible, and home mortgage payments in exchange for using Menendez’s position to benefit the businesspeople and the government of Egypt between 2018 and 2022.
The charges include conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, and conspiracy to commit extortion.
Menendez has denied the charges, calling them “baseless allegations,” and his wife plans to vigorously contest the charges in court.
This is the second time Menendez has been indicted, with the previous case resulting in a hung jury. The indictment is seen as an opportunity for the Department of Justice to appear politically evenhanded in the face of criticism from former President Donald Trump and his allies regarding federal criminal indictments against Trump.
The indictment details three alleged schemes involving Menendez, which took place after he began dating his now-wife in early 2018. These schemes involve providing sensitive U.S. government information to benefit Egypt, influencing state and federal prosecutions, and receiving bribes in exchange for various favors.
Menendez’s role as the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee allowed him significant influence in foreign policy matters.
The indictment also reveals that during a search of the Menendezes’ home in June 2022, federal agents found large sums of cash, gold bars, and home furnishings provided by the businesspeople involved.
Menendez, despite previous legal challenges, has announced plans to run for reelection in 2024, causing concern among some Democratic leaders in New Jersey about the impact on their Senate seat.