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New Charges of Bribery and Obstruction of Justice Against New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez

Credits: Reuters

Federal prosecutors in New York have unveiled a superseding indictment against Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and his wife, Nadine Menendez, accusing them of obstructing an investigation into a bribery scheme. The scheme allegedly involved Menendez using his political influence for personal gain.

The indictment, unsealed on Tuesday, expands on previous charges against the senator and his wife, as well as three New Jersey businessmen.

Last year, they were charged with conspiring to use Menendez’s position as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to benefit Egyptian and Qatari government officials and to assist the businessmen with their business and legal issues.

New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez (Credits: Reuters)

In return, the senator and his wife allegedly received hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, gold bars, and a luxury car.

The new charges in the superseding indictment include accusations that Menendez worked as an unregistered foreign agent of Egypt, accepted bribes to assist a co-defendant’s Halal company, and attempted to disrupt various criminal investigations.

The indictment also includes new charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice against both Bob and Nadine Menendez.

According to court documents, Nadine Menendez allegedly met with one of the defendants, businessman Jose Uribe, after federal investigators executed search warrants at the Menendez home.

During the meeting, they discussed payments for a Mercedes-Benz convertible that Uribe gave to Nadine Menendez. Uribe agreed to tell investigators that the car payments were loans, prosecutors said.

The couple is also accused of attempting to pay back some of the money they allegedly received as bribes by writing checks to the businessmen and describing them as loans, as well as selling gold bars.

Menendez and his co-defendants had previously pleaded not guilty to the initial charges. Uribe changed his legal strategy and pleaded guilty last week, agreeing to cooperate with investigators.

In response to the new charges, Menendez maintained his innocence and accused prosecutors of abusing their power. He criticized the government’s allegations as an attempt to avoid scrutiny from a jury.

The senator has faced calls to resign but has resisted, asserting his innocence. He stepped down from his role as the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee following the initial charges.

A federal judge recently rejected Menendez’s claim that the FBI’s searches of his home and electronics were unlawful, ruling that there was probable cause for the searches.

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