New Jersey Democratic Senator Robert Menendez and his wife are facing serious legal trouble as they have been indicted by the Justice Department on multiple charges, including bribery and conspiracy. Prosecutors allege that the couple accepted a variety of bribes, including cash, gold bars, payments towards their home mortgage, and a luxury vehicle, from several New Jersey businessmen. These bribes were purportedly given to secretly aid the Egyptian government, and in return, Senator Menendez allegedly used his position as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to protect these businessmen.
Senator Menendez vehemently denies the charges, characterizing them as politically motivated and part of an attempt to silence him. His wife, Nadine Menendez, has also denied any wrongdoing and has expressed her intention to defend herself in court.
The indictment follows a lengthy investigation by the Justice Department, which uncovered substantial evidence, including large sums of cash, gold bars, and a luxury vehicle. The prosecutors claim that Senator Menendez's wife worked with one of the businessmen to introduce the senator to Egyptian intelligence and military officials. They allege that Menendez even ghost-wrote a letter on behalf of the Egyptian government to persuade other senators to release $300 million in aid to Egypt.
As a result of these charges, the Menendez couple has been asked to forfeit various assets, including their New Jersey home. They, along with their co-defendants, are scheduled to appear in Manhattan federal court on September 27.
It's worth noting that this is not the first time Senator Menendez has faced bribery charges. In 2015, he was indicted in New Jersey on similar allegations, but the case ended in a mistrial when jurors couldn't reach a unanimous verdict.