What We Know About Senator Menendez and Wife’s Indictment
New Jersey may have a history of corruption, but it’s rarely ever laid bare in such a shocking way. New Jersey’s Senator Bob Menendez (D) and his wife, Nadine, were formally charged with bribery by the United States Justice Department—and it’s the second time this happened during his long tenure as a New Jersey senator.
The Justice Department was tipped off that Senator Menendez comingled his obligations as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to advance U.S. priorities and his private interests. Those interests? Advancing the interests of three wealthy Egyptian businessmen who showered him with gifts.
The full indictment states that Menendez accepted gold bars, mortgage payments, as well as a luxury car and cash for a “no work job.” In exchange, Menendez used his senatorial influence to benefit the Egyptian government and disrupt a criminal case involving one of the defendants.
Three businessmen are involved: Wael Hana, Jose Uribe, and Fred Daibes. Daibes, in particular, is facing criminal charges that Menendez has been trying to disrupt. Locals may know Daibes as the man credited with the creation of the “gold coast” of towering buildings in Edgewater.
There are a lot of allegations swirling around regarding Senator Menendez’s quid pro quo behavior.
Per the indictment, Menendez pressured the Department of Agriculture to keep a monopoly on halal food sent via the Egyptian government to bolster Hana’s profits. Another charge involved turning away rival developers for Edgewater contracts, aiding Egypt’s government, and using influence to drop charges on loan fraud for Daibes.
All three men are affiliated with the Egyptian government. Menendez also met with multiple groups of foreign agents as a Senator. Those foreign agents were allegedly aligned with Egypt.
What’s the evidence against Senator Menendez?
The Justice Department has plenty of evidence to prove their allegations, too. During their investigation, it was revealed that Menendez’s wife, Nadine, sold over $400,000 in gold bars over several years.
Almost $500,000 in cash was found in safety deposit boxes and other areas around the home. Envelopes were stuffed inside Menedez’s clothing, and additional gold bars were recovered. Menendez also searched “How much is one kilo of gold worth?” on Google as well.
A Mercedes bought by the businessmen was also recovered at the home of the disgraced Senator. Senator Menendez has openly and vehemently denied the charges despite the growing evidence against him.
Well, much like the last time this happened, Bob Menendez will have to prove his innocence or get another hung jury to be absolved of the charges. He must go to court, hire a lawyer, and testify. All people are innocent until proven guilty.
However, that doesn’t mean that his colleagues are pleased with him.
A bipartisan call for Menendez to resign as senator has started to grow. The Democratic Caucus rules have also forced Menendez to step down from his role as the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. He is, however, still allowed to serve on the panel.
Despite facing such serious charges, Menendez is not required to recuse himself from other roles—including the role of state senator. He has gone on the record stating that he’s “not going anywhere” and that he will not resign from his position.
His first court date is Wednesday, September 27. He faces up to 20 years in prison if he’s found guilty.