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Senator Bob Menendez and Wife Indicted on Bribery Charges

Senator Bob Menendez and Wife Indicted on Bribery Charges

Senator Bob Menendez and Wife Indicted on Bribery Charges

Senator Bob Menendez and Wife Indicted on Bribery Charges

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  • US Senator Bob Menendez was indicted on bribery charges.
  • Menendez has previously faced bribery allegations, which resulted in a mistrial in 2015.
  • The charges are the latest development in a long-running corruption probe.

The Justice Department has indicted Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey on charges of allegedly accepting substantial bribes, including cash and gold bars, from New Jersey businessmen.

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Prosecutors claim that Menendez and his wife received these payments in exchange for using the senator’s influence to protect the businessmen and benefit the government of Egypt.

The charges include conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, and conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right, with both Menendez and his wife facing these counts.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is scheduled to hold a press conference at 11:00 AM EST (16:00 GMT) to officially announce the charges.

According to the indictment, the bribes included cash, gold, contributions toward a home mortgage, and a luxury vehicle, all provided by three New Jersey individuals: Wael Hana, Jose Uribe, and Fred Daibes.

Federal agents searched Menendez’s residence and reportedly discovered evidence of these bribery agreements, including over $480,000 in cash concealed in various places, such as envelopes, clothing, closets, and a safe.

Additionally, a luxury vehicle paid for by Uribe was found in the garage, along with $100,000 worth of gold bars, which were depicted in the indictment.

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Senator Menendez, 69, serves as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and was re-elected to a third term in the Senate in 2018.

The indictment alleges that Menendez’s wife, Nadine, collaborated with one of the businessmen, Mr. Hana, to introduce the senator to Egyptian intelligence and military officials.

Hana, originally from Egypt, exchanged numerous text messages with Ms. Menendez, some of which were deleted from her phone, according to prosecutors.

The indictment suggests that Hana and Ms. Menendez established a “corrupt agreement” in which Hana provided funds to benefit the Egyptian government through foreign military sales and financing, leveraging the senator’s position.

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Mr. Menendez “held a leadership position on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (the “SFRC”), first as the Ranking Member and then the Chairman, and therefore possessed influence over, among other things, the Executive Branch’s decisions to provide foreign military sales, foreign military financing, and other aid or support to or for the benefit of the Government of Egypt”, prosecutors wrote in the 39-page indictment.

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In one instance, prosecutors allege that Senator Menendez covertly authored a letter on behalf of the Egyptian government, aimed at persuading other U.S. senators to release a hold on $300 million in aid destined for Egypt.

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As part of an arrangement with Egyptian officials, Mr. Hana purportedly agreed to provide Ms. Menendez with a job that required minimal or no actual work, according to the prosecution.

Furthermore, Senator Menendez is accused of accepting a new Mercedes Benz convertible in exchange for obstructing a New Jersey state criminal prosecution related to one of Mr. Uribe’s associates.

Prosecutors contend that the senator reached out to a high-ranking state prosecutor in the New Jersey Attorney General’s office and exerted pressure to secure a favorable outcome for the defendant.

As a consequence of these charges, Mr. Menendez and his wife have been requested to forfeit various assets, including their residence in New Jersey and a 2019 Mercedes Benz.

It’s worth noting that this is not the first time Senator Menendez has faced bribery allegations.

He was previously indicted in New Jersey in 2015 on accusations of accepting bribes, including luxurious vacations, from a wealthy Florida eye doctor.

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However, that case resulted in a mistrial as the jurors were unable to reach a unanimous verdict.

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