Democratic Governor Murphy says Menendez should resign. "The severity of the allegations has compromised Menendez's ability to represent his constituents effectively."
NEW YORK, NY (SEPTEMBER 22, 2023)(CNBNews)--On September 22, 2023, a grand jury indictment was released accusing U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat and senior Senator from New Jersey, of committing numerous crimes. The indictment alleges that Menendez engaged in a corrupt relationship with three businessmen from his state and, along with his wife Nadine Menendez (also known as Nadine Arslanian), accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from Wael Hana, Ida "Will" Hana, Jose Uribe, and Fred Daibes. In exchange for these bribes, Menendez allegedly used his power and influence as a Senator to protect and benefit the businessmen and the Arab Republic of Egypt. The bribes included cash, gold, mortgage payments, compensation for a no-show job, a luxury vehicle, and other valuable items.
The five individuals are scheduled to make their initial court appearance in Manhattan on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. Senator Menendez has publicly denounced the charges, labeling them as untrue and part of a politically motivated attack that relies on unnamed sources and insinuations to create an unwarranted perception of wrongdoing. Additionally, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer confirmed that Menendez will resign from his position on the Foreign Relations Committee, according to the National Public Radio (https://www.npr.org/).
In response to the charges, Menendez said in his first public statement that the indictment was full of false accusations and part of an active political smear campaign of "anonymous sources and innuendos to create an air of impropriety where none exists." Menendez will step down from his post on the Foreign Relations Committee, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday.
In 2015, Menendez was indicted along with Salomon Melgen, a Florida ophthalmologist, in connection with a bribery scheme in which Menendez allegedly accepted gifts from Melgen in exchange for using the power of his Senate office to benefit Melgen’s financial and personal interests. Menendez, who was 61 at the time, lived in Paramus, New Jersey, and Melgen, 60, of Palm Beach, Florida, were indicted in the District of New Jersey for one count of conspiracy, one count of violating the Travel Act, eight counts of bribery and three counts of honest services fraud. Menendez was also charged with one count of making false statements.
The corruption trial of Menendez was taken to court in 2017. On November 16 of that year, a New Jersey federal judge declared a mistrial after the 12-person jury informed the judge for a second time that they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict on any of the bribery, conspiracy, fraud, or false statements charges faced by the Democrat and his co-defendant, Salomon Melgen. The judge, William Walls, concluded the case in a mistrial just after noon, citing the deadlocked jury. He stated, "I find that you are unable to reach a verdict and that further deliberations would be futile." This information was reported by National Public Radio.
The judge's decision shut down an 11-week criminal trial, which was at times tedious but also rife with tales of ritzy international travel and sizable campaign contributions. It pulled back the curtain on the personal life of one of the Senate's highest-ranking Democrats, stated the National Public Radio (https://www.npr.org/)
According to today's indictment, three envelopes with MENENDEZ's name on them were found inside jackets hanging in his closet (image above). This was discovered during a court-authorized search of his home. Additionally, agents found home furnishings provided by HANA and DAIBES, a luxury vehicle paid for by URIBE parked in the garage and over $100,000 worth of gold bars in the home. The gold bars were provided by either HANA or DAIBES, and two of them are shown in the photographs below.
Bob Menendez was previously mayor of Union City in New Jersey, as well as a member of the state legislature until 1993. In January 2006, he was appointed to fill the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Jon Corzine (who had been elected governor of New Jersey), and was elected to a full six-year term that November. He was re-elected in 2012 and 2018. According to the indictment, Menendez was a key member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, initially serving as Ranking Member before becoming Chairman. This gave him significant influence over decisions made by the Executive Branch, such as providing foreign military sales, financing, and other forms of aid to the Government of Egypt. As a result, Menendez, as the senior U.S. Senator from New Jersey, had the ability to recommend to the President individuals to serve as the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey.
Recent reports from CNN reveal that New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, along with other prominent Democrats in the Garden State, are urging Senator Bob Menendez to step down following his indictment on federal bribery charges. The severity of the allegations has compromised Menendez's ability to represent his constituents, according to Murphy's statement effectively. If Menendez chooses to resign, Murphy would appoint a replacement senator, and Menendez's term would have run until 2024.