New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez has been indicted on federal bribery charges, the Department of Justice announced Friday.
The indictment alleges that Menendez, who is the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and his wife, Nadine Menendez, received hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, gold bars, and “luxury vehicle and home furnishings,” from three New Jersey businessmen.
In return for the bribes, Menendez reportedly used his office to send aid to the Egyptian military, “to pressure the Department of Agriculture to protect a business monopoly [one] contact had from Egypt,” per CNN, and to help other alleged bribers’ businesses. The “corrupt relationship” detailed in the indictment spanned from 2018 to 2022.
Menendez and his wife did little to hide their allegedly ill-begotten gains, despite the fact that the New Jersey senator had previously been indicted on similar charges in 2015—although Menendez was let off the hook after the jury failed to return a verdict. “Over $480,000 in cash—much of it stuffed into envelopes and hidden in clothing, closets and a safe—was discovered in the home,” according to the indictment.
Envelopes of cash were allegedly discovered hidden inside jackets that literally had Menendez’s name on them. Additionally, the gold bars that were discovered at Menendez’s home had serial numbers, making them traceable.
Another $70,000 in cash was allegedly found in an envelope in Nadine Menendez’s safety deposit box. According to the indictment, the envelope containing the cash had fingerprints from Fred Daibes, one of the three businessmen implicated in the indictment, or his driver. Menendez didn’t even bother to switch the envelope after he received the payment.
Menendez has been under investigation for a year led by the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams.
The charges are significant. They also undercut numerous allegations made by Donald Trump and others that the numerous federal charges he is currently facing are a heinous plot meant to undermine his surging presidential campaign.