Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey vows to beat his latest corruption charges after prosecutors accused him of taking cash and gold for illegally helping Egypt and three businessmen.
Fellow Democrats want him to resign as he battles a Sept. 21 indictment that details how U.S. agents found 13 gold bars and $486,461 stuffed in envelopes, closets and a safe at his house.
A defiant Menendez said Sept. 25 the cash came from his personal savings and not bribes, and he kept it for emergencies. He denied illegally helping Egypt, saying he’s been tough on human rights abuses there.
Menendez is expected to plead not guilty Wednesday at a federal court in New York, where he will eventually face trial. He was charged with his wife, Nadine, and the businessmen – Wael Hana, Fred Daibes and Jose Uribe.
All five are charged with conspiracy to commit bribery and conspiracy to commit honest services fraud. The senator and his wife are also charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right.
Here’s a look at who’s charged and the allegations:
Background: Menendez, 69, is a son of Cuban immigrants who has served in the Senate since 2006. After the indictment, he stepped down — at least temporarily — as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Menendez has faced corruption allegations before. He went to trial in 2017 on charges that he took gifts of private jet travel, a Paris vacation and campaign contributions in exchange for pushing a Florida doctor’s business interests within the U.S. government. A judge declared a mistrial after jurors deadlocked. The Justice Department dropped the case.
Allegations: Prosecutors say the Menendez conspiracy started in January 2018, around when the Justice Department dropped the previous corruption case.
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