Sen. Bob Menendez faces new charges accusing him of accepting bribes on behalf of a foreign government and conspiring to act as a foreign agent, according to a superseding indictment filed by a federal grand jury in Manhattan.
The superseding indictment alleges Menendez, New Jersey’s senior senator, “provided sensitive U.S. Government information and took other steps that secretly aided the Government of Egypt.”
Menendez was previously indicted in 2015 on bribery charges
The alleged Egyptian spy insisted that he will stay in office and fight the latest charges in the superseding indictment accusing him of accepting bribes on behalf of a foreign government and conspiring to act as a foreign agent.
The superseding indictment claims that Menendez “provided sensitive U.S. Government information and took other steps that secretly aided the Government of Egypt.”
In September, the senator and his wife were indicted by a grand jury on federal bribery charges stemming from their alleged relationship with three businessmen, according to court filings.
Prosecutors from the Southern District of New York alleged Menendez and his wife received cash, gold bars, payments towards a home mortgage, compensation for a low or no-show job, a luxury vehicle, and other items of value from businessmen Wael Hana, Jose Uribe and Fred Daibes.
“While a number of Senate Democrats and politicians from New Jersey, including Sen. Cory Booker and Gov. Phil Murphy, have called on Menendez to resign, none of them answered my calls or took a moment to consider that New Jersey’s people deserved better when I challenged him in 2018,” said Lisa McCormick, who earned 159,998 votes in the Democratic primary election.
“All they cared about was that I didn’t have a boatload of money. I know that our government shouldn’t be for sale and maybe our citizens will have learned that lesson,” said McCormick, who has called for public campaign financing and legislation to outlaw bribery, which is virtually legal due to various Supreme Court decisions.
The FBI said Menendez provided sensitive U.S. government information to Egypt in exchange for bribes.
Federal prosecutors now state in the superseding indictment that Sen. Robert Menendez’s wife Nadine Menendez and a New Jersey businessman Wael Hana “worked to introduce Egyptian intelligence and military officials to Menendez for the purpose of establishing and solidifying a corrupt agreement in which Hana, with assistance from Fred Daibes and Jose Uribe, the defendants, provided hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes to Menendez and Nadine Menendez, in exchange for Menendez’s acts and breaches of duty to benefit the Government of Egypt, Hana, and others, including with respect to foreign military sales and foreign military financing.”
Specifically, the superseding indictment released Oct. 12 charges Menendez and others with, “From at least in or about January 2018 through at least in or about June 2022, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, ROBERT MENENDEZ, NADINE MENENDEZ, a/k/a “Nadine Arslanian,” and WAEL HANA, a/k/a “Will Hana,” the defendants, and others known and unknown, willfully and knowingly combined, conspired, confederated, and agreed together and with each other to have a public official, to wit, ROBERT MENENDEZ, act as an agent of a foreign principal, to wit, the Government of Egypt and Egyptian officials.”
A search of the couple’s home turned up $100,000 in gold bars and $480,000 in hidden cash, said prosecutors, who announced the charges against the powerful 69-year-old Democrat nearly six years after an earlier criminal case against him ended with a deadlocked jury.
A judge threw out Daibes’ plea bargain that has been part of Menendez bribery probe
Police dashcam video raised serious questions about the lack of an investigation into the fatal car crash in which Menendez’s wife killed a Bergen County man.
In response to the original indictment Menendez said, “Those who believe in justice believe in innocence until proven guilty. I intend to continue to fight for the people of New Jersey with the same success I’ve had for the past five decades. This is the same record of success these very same leaders have lauded all along. It is not lost on me how quickly some are rushing to judge a Latino and push him out of his seat. I am not going anywhere,” Menendez previously said in a statement.
A lawyer for Menendez’s wife, David Schertler, said his client “denies any criminal conduct and will vigorously contest these charges in court.”
In 2018, Daibes was charged by federal prosecutors in New Jersey with obtaining loans under false pretenses from a bank that he owned.
Those charges were serious, carrying the potential for years in prison, but Daibes was still awaiting trial in 2021 when Menendez, as New Jersey’s senior senator, played a key role in advising the new administration of President Joe Biden on potential candidates to be the top federal prosecutor in the state.
Daibes’ attorney, Tim Donohue, said after the release of the original indictment that his client would be “completely exonerated of all charges.”
In late 2020, Menendez met with Philip Sellinger, a lawyer who was a longtime political fundraiser and the biggest contributor to a legal defense fund for the Senator’s 2015 indictment.
Menendez and Sellinger discuss an appointment as the next U.S. attorney for the state of New Jersey and how it could influence the case against Daibes.
Menendez’s alleged spying on behalf of the government of Egypt described in today’s superseding indictment, is particularly disturbing because he served as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee until stepping down in over these federal bribery charges.