Home Feature News Sen. Bob Menendez and spouse indicted on bribery prices; DOJ seizes gold bars and $500,000 | CNN Politics

Sen. Bob Menendez and spouse indicted on bribery prices; DOJ seizes gold bars and $500,000 | CNN Politics

Sen. Bob Menendez and spouse indicted on bribery prices; DOJ seizes gold bars and $500,000 | CNN Politics



New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez was charged on Friday with corruption-related offenses for the second time in 10 years.

Menendez and his spouse, Nadine Arslanian Menendez, are accused of accepting “lots of of 1000’s of {dollars} in bribes” in change for the senator’s affect, in keeping with the newly unsealed federal indictment.

Prosecutors allege the bribes included gold, money, house mortgage funds, compensation for a “low-or-no-show job” and a luxurious car.

That is the second set of corruption prices levied in opposition to Menendez by the Justice Division in a decade. He beforehand fought off conspiracy, bribery and trustworthy companies fraud associated to alleged private favors.

Menendez is up for re-election subsequent yr. He has been within the Senate since 2006.

Senate Democratic Caucus guidelines will pressure Menendez to step apart as chairman of the International Relations Committee, however he can nonetheless serve on the panel. CNN has reached out to Menendez’s Senate workplace for remark.

Menendez has vigorously denied any wrongdoing. In April, he informed CNN, “This inquiry will find yourself, I consider, in completely nothing.”

Menendez additionally beforehand arrange a authorized protection fund. Starting in April, his spouse bought gold bars price as a lot as $400,000, in keeping with the senator’s most up-to-date monetary disclosure type.

Menendez is charged with three alleged crimes, together with being on the receiving finish of a bribery conspiracy. The conspiracy counts additionally cost his spouse Nadine, and three individuals described as New Jersey associates and businessmen, Wael Hana, Jose Uribe and Fred Daibes.

Menendez and the opposite defendants will seem in courtroom at 10:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday.

The group is accused of coordinating to make use of Menendez’s energy as a US senator to profit them personally and to profit Egypt.

Within the indictment, prosecutors accuse Menendez of making an attempt to sway the president’s selection of the highest federal prosecutor in New Jersey to profit one of many enterprise associates and to strain the Division of Agriculture to guard a enterprise monopoly one other contact had from Egypt.

The Division of Agriculture in 2019 had contacted Egypt to object to it giving Menendez’s contact, Hana, monopoly rights associated to supplying halal meat to the US.

But Hana met Menendez in his workplace together with others, together with an Egyptian intelligence official, in Might 2019, asking for assist heading off the US company’s opposition. The group went to a Washington, DC, steakhouse for dinner that night, the indictment stated.

Two days later, Menendez allegedly known as an Agriculture Division official, asking them to cease opposing Hana’s enterprise.

Sen. Bob Menendez, his wife Nadine and Jose Uribe pictured in the indictment released Friday.

“When Official-1 tried to clarify why the monopoly was detrimental to U.S. pursuits, MENENDEZ reiterated his demand, in sum and substance, that the USDA cease interfering with IS EG Halal’s monopoly. Official-1 didn’t accede to MENENDEZ’s demand, however IS EG Halal nonetheless saved its monopoly,” the indictment stated.

Searches turned up $500,000 in money and extra

In line with the indictment, searches of Menendez’ house and secure deposit field that federal brokers carried out in 2022 turned up practically $500,000 in money, together with in envelopes inside jackets emblazoned with Menendez’s identify.

Prosecutors say among the envelopes had the fingerprints or DNA of one of many enterprise contacts from whom the senator is accused of taking bribes.

The federal investigators who searched Menendez’s house additionally discovered a “luxurious car paid for by [Jose] Uribe parked within the storage,” in addition to house furnishings from different enterprise contacts and gold bars.

Menendez was charged by federal prosecutors from the US legal professional’s workplace in New Jersey in 2015 with conspiracy, bribery, and trustworthy companies fraud referring to allegedly abusing the ability of his workplace.

Prosecutors stated the senator accepted greater than $600,000 in political contributions, an expensive resort suite on the Park Hyatt in Paris, and free rides on a personal jet from a rich ophthalmologist, Dr. Salomon Melgen, in change for political favors.

Gold bar seized from the Menendez home, according to the indictment

The corruption trial of Menendez resulted in a mistrial in November 2017 after the jury reported it was deadlocked. Each males denied the entire prices. Following the mistrial, a federal choose acquitted them of a number of of the fees in 2018. The Justice Division dropped the remaining prices in opposition to Menendez.

Melgen was convicted on dozens of counts of well being care fraud and sentenced to 17 years in a separate case, however his sentence was commuted by then-President Donald Trump in 2021.

After his mistrial was introduced in 2017, a defiant Menendez issued a warning at a information convention.

“To those that had been digging my political grave in order that they may leap into my seat, I do know who you’re, and I received’t overlook you,” he stated on the time.

This story has been up to date with further developments.



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