US Democratic Senator from New Jersey Bob Menendez and his wife Nadine Arslanian Menendez were on Friday, September 22, charged with corruption-related offences.
Reports indicate that Menendez and his wife are accused of accepting “hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes” in exchange for the senator’s influence, according to a newly unsealed federal indictment.
Menendez, known in Rwanda for supporting terror convict Paul Rusesabagina and calling for sanctions against the Rwandan government, is being charged with corruption-related offences for the second time in 10 years, according to CNN.
Sen. Menendez who chairs the US Senate Foreign Relations committee, “promised to and did use his influence and power and breach his official duty to seek to disrupt a criminal investigation and prosecution” in New Jersey, as per an indictment by the US Department of Justice reported by CNN.
Since at least 2018, the 69-year-old Senator and his wife “engaged in a corrupt relationship with three New Jersey associates and businessmen—WAEL HANA, a/ka/ “Will Hana,” JOSE URIBE, and FRED DAIBES,” read the indictment.
In this relationship the couple “agreed to and did accept hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes in exchange for” using his power and influence as a Senator. The bribes benefited the Egyptian government, the charge sheet said.
“Those bribes included cash, gold, payments toward a home mortgage, compensation for a low-or-no-show job, a luxury vehicle, and other things of value,” it continued.
“Over $480,000 in cash—much of it stuffed into envelopes and hidden in clothing, closets, and a safe—was discovered in the home, along with over $70,000 in NADINE MENENDEZ’s safe deposit box,” the charge sheet reads.
The corrupt relationship resulted in Menendez promising to take and taking a series of official acts and breaches of official duty in exchange for bribes that benefited him both directly, and indirectly through his wife, the prosecutors said.
The senator and his wife each face three criminal counts: conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, and conspiracy to commit extortion under colour of official right.
Menendez and his wife deny the charges.