New Jersey Democratic Senator Robert Menendez has been indicted for allegedly accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes according to the Justice Department. The indictment comes after a year-long investigation by the Justice Department of New Jersey.
Prosecutors allege Mr Menendez and his wife Nadine accepted bribes of cash, gold, payments toward a home mortgage and a luxury vehicle from three New Jersey men: Wael Hana, Jose Uribe and Fred Daibes. According to the indictment, the bribe was given to Mr Menendez so that he may use his power as a senator to protect the three businessmen in addition to helping the Egyptian government.
Mr Menendez, 69, is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee and was elected to a third term in the Senate in 2018. In a statement from Mrs Menendez lawyers, she denied any wrongdoing and said she would defend herself in court.
Mr Menendez Nadine also denied the allegations and painted them as politically motivated. The senator and his wife accepted the money to secretly aid the Egyptian government, prosecutors allege.
The pair each face three criminal counts: conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, and conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right.
As a result of the charges, Mr Menendez and his wife have been asked to forfeit several assets, including their New Jersey home. Mr Menendez, his wife and their three co-defendants are scheduled to appear in Manhattan federal court on 27 September.