WASHINGTON (Agencies): US prosecutors have charged Senator Robert Menendez and his wife with bribery in connection with their ties to New Jersey businessmen, potentially impacting Democratic efforts to maintain their slim Senate majority in the upcoming elections, Reuters reported.
The charges stem from the acceptance of thousands of dollars in bribes, allegedly in exchange for Senator Menendez leveraging his influence to benefit businessmen and the government of Egypt.
This development has the potential to complicate the Democrats’ goal of expanding their Senate majority. The indictment includes images of seized gold bars and envelopes filled with cash, totaling over $480,000, found in Menendez’s home.
Senator Menendez, Chair of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, has played a significant role in supporting President Joe Biden’s international agenda.
The investigation is ongoing, and Menendez has announced plans to seek re-election next year.
Prosecutors aim to have Menendez forfeit assets, including his home, a 2019 Mercedes-Benz, and approximately $566,000 in cash, gold bars, and funds from a bank account.
The businessmen implicated in the scheme—Wael Hana, Jose Uribe, and Fred Daibes—have also been charged. Hana allegedly arranged meetings between Menendez and Egyptian officials in 2018, leading to discussions about US military aid. In exchange, Nadine Menendez was placed on Hana’s company payroll.
The Egyptian embassy in Washington has yet to respond to the allegations. Menendez had previously faced charges in New Jersey related to private flights, campaign contributions, and other bribes from a wealthy patron, which ended in a jury deadlock in 2017. Prosecutors dropped the case in 2018, and Menendez maintained his innocence.
He was also investigated in 2006. He was re-elected to his third term in the Senate in 2018, first appointed in 2006 to replace Jon Corzine when he was elected as New Jersey’s Governor. The state has not elected a Republican Senator since 1972.