U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and his wife today pleaded not guilty to bribery charges as the FBI opens a counterintelligence probe into the senator’s ties with Egyptian officials.
“The New Jersey senator is accused of accepting gold bars and hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. Prosecutors allege he used his influence to help Egypt’s government, and business associates in New Jersey.
The senator has rejected calls from fellow Democrats to resign.”
Menendez appeared to enter his plea late Wednesday morning in a federal courtroom in Manhattan, according to NorthJersey.com. He and his wife, Nadine Arslanian Menendez, arrived at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse shortly after 8 a.m., the report said.
“Menendez declined to answer a question as he waited in a corridor with his wife and his attorneys.
“New Jersey’s senior senator faces corruption charges, brought by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. for allegedly accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from three Garden State businessmen in exchange for helping them enrich themselves and trying to get them out of trouble, according to an indictment unsealed in New York.”
This, too, from CBS, in the case of the indicted and politically embattled New Jersey senior senator:
“Around half of Senate Democrats have now said that Menendez should resign, including several running for reelection next year. Calls for his resignation, including from the head of the Senate Democrats’ campaign arm, Michigan Sen. Gary Peters, came in quick succession after Booker called on his colleague to step aside. Menendez has refused to leave office but has not yet said whether he will run for reelection next year.
“Menendez, the longtime chairman and top Democrat on the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and his wife, Nadine, are accused in an indictment released Friday of using his position to aid the authoritarian government of Egypt and to pressure federal prosecutors to drop a case against a friend, among other allegations of corruption. The three-count indictment says they were paid bribes — gold bars, a luxury car and cash — by three New Jersey businessmen in exchange for the corrupt acts.”