Report: Menendez Arrives in Federal Court in Manhattan

Menendez in Atlantic City.

From “Less than a week after his second indictment in a decade, Sen. Bob Menendez was expected to plead not guilty to bribery allegations.

“Menendez was to appear to enter a plea late Wednesday morning in a federal courtroom in Manhattan. He and his wife, Nadine Arslanian Menendez, arrived at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse shortly after 8 a.m.

“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.”

Said Booker:

“As Senator Menendez prepares to mount his legal defense, he has stated that he will not resign. Senator Menendez fiercely asserts his innocence and it is therefore understandable that he believes stepping down is patently unfair. But I believe this is a mistake.

“Stepping down is not an admission of guilt but an acknowledgment that holding public office often demands tremendous sacrifices at great personal cost. Senator Menendez has made these sacrifices in the past to serve. And in this case he must do so again. I believe stepping down is best for those Senator Menendez has spent his life serving.”

From CNN this morning:

“Wael Hana, an alleged co-conspirator indicted in a bribery scheme with New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, pleaded not guilty and was released on bail in federal court Tuesday.

“Hana was arrested Tuesday morning at John F. Kennedy International Airport upon his return from Egypt, his attorney Larry Lustberg told reporters after the hearing. His wife and children remain in Egypt where they all live much of the year. Hana returned to the US to face the charges, Lustberg said.

“Hana was charged in an indictment last week with Menendez and others and faces one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, which carry maximum prison sentences of five and 20 years respectively.”

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