Federal prosecutors in New York City have revised their charges against U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and his wife.
They are now alleging a conspiracy in which Menendez is accused of acting as an agent of Egypt and its officials, a violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
FARA requires that all individuals register with the U.S. government if they act as an “agent of a foreign principal.” However, even if Menendez had registered accordingly, it is illegal for a member of Congress to act as an agent of a foreign principal.
“From at least 2018 up to and including in or about 2022, Menendez and his wife, Nadine Menendez, the defendant, engaged in a corrupt relationship with three New Jersey associates and businessmen,” court documents read. “In which Menendez and Nadine Menendez agreed to and did accept hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes in exchange for using Menendez’s power and influence as a Senator to seek to protect and enrich” the three businessmen and to benefit the Arab Republic of Egypt.
These allegations involved receiving bribes in the form of cash, gold bars and a luxury car from the businessmen, all in an attempt to influence the senator’s stance on foreign affairs.
This updated indictment was filed in Manhattan federal court on Thursday, and the charge comes weeks after the Democratic senator pleaded not guilty to political corruption charges.
Two weeks ago, Menendez said that the accusations of misusing his authority for personal enrichment hold no merit, and he is confident that he will be cleared of any wrongdoing and has no intention of stepping down from serving in the Senate.
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“The government’s latest charge flies in the face of my long record of standing up for human rights and democracy in Egypt and in challenging leaders of that country, including President El-Sisi on these issues. I have been, throughout my life, loyal to only one country — the United States of America, the land my family chose to live in democracy and freedom,” Menendez said in a statement to Scripps News. “Piling new charge upon new charge does not make the allegations true. The facts haven’t changed, only a new charge. It is an attempt to wear someone down and I will not succumb to this tactic. I again ask people who know me and my record to give me the chance to present my defense and show my innocence.”