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Sen. Bob Menendez makes announcement on political future, insists he’ll be exonerated on federal indictment


Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., announced Monday he will be exonerated on a new federal corruption indictment.

At a press conference, Menedez insisted he would be exonerated and detailed his decades-long record in Congress. 

He also insisted the hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash the FBI found at his home was withdrawn from his personal savings account. 

In what experts tell Fox News is a risk for his own defense in court, Menendez also stood by his political record on Egypt. 

The press conference at Hudson County Community College in Union City, New Jersey, marks the senator’s first public appearance since his federal indictment was unsealed in the Southern District of New York on Friday charging Menendez, his wife, Nadine, and New Jersey businessmen Wael Hana, Jose Uribe and Fred Daibes in participating in a years-long bribery scheme. 

Since 2018, as alleged by federal prosecutors, the three businessmen collectively paid hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes, including cash, gold, a Mercedes Benz, and other things of value in exchange for Menendez agreeing to use his power and influence to protect and enrich them and to benefit the government of Egypt. 

The indictment accuses Menendez of improperly pressuring an official at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to seek to protect a business monopoly granted to Hana by Egypt. The senator is also accused of taking actions seeking to disrupt a criminal investigation undertaken by the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General related to Uribe and his associates.  

DEMOCRAT ANNOUNCES BOB MENENDEZ PRIMARY CHALLENGE IN WAKE OF LONG-TIME SENATOR’S BRIBERY INDICTMENT

An evidence photo depicts Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, Nadine Menendez randan Egyptian official meeting at a private dinner at the official’s home.  (United States District Court )

Federal prosecutors say Menendez recommended that President Biden nominate a U.S. Attorney who the senator believed he could influence with respect to Daibes and sought to disrupt a federal criminal prosecution undertaken by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey of Daibes. 

A photograsph taken by investigators of a luxury car that was allegedly given to Menendez as a bribe.

A photograph taken by investigators of a luxury car that was allegedly given to Menendez as a bribe. (United States District Court for the Southern District of New York)

In June 2022, the FBI executed a search warrant at Menendez and his wife’s New Jersey home where federal agents many of the fruits of the bribery scheme, including cash, gold, the luxury convertible, and home furnishings. Prosecutors say $480,000 in cash, much of it stuffed into envelopes and hidden in clothing, closets, and a safe, was discovered in the home, as well as over $70,000 in cash in Nadine’s safe deposit box. Some of the envelopes contained the fingerprints and/or DNA of Daibes or his driver, according to the indictment. 

Evidence photos included in the indictment charging Senator Robert Menendez and Nadine Menendez with bribery.

An evidence photo shows gold bars that were gifted by Fred Daibes and found in Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez and Nadine Menendez’s home.  (United States District Court )

Other of the envelopes were found inside jackets bearing Menendez name and hanging in his closet. 

Prosecutors released photos showing bars of the Egyptian gold, stacks of cash and the Mercedes-Benz convertible found at the house. 

An image captured by federal agents of gold bars discovered in Menendez's home.

An image captured by federal agents of gold bars discovered in Menendez’s home. (United States District Court for the Southern District of New York)

CHRIS CHRISTIE RESPONDS ON WHETHER HE’D RUN FOR SEN. BOB MENENDEZ’S SEAT IN 2024 AMID DEMOCRAT’S INDICTMENT

Evidence photos included in the indictment charging Senator Robert Menendez and Nadine Menendez with bribery.

An evidence photo shows Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, Nadine Menendez, Jose Uribe and another associate at a “celebratory dinner.”  (United States District Court )

Menendez has since hired attorney Abbe Lowell, CNBC reported. Lowell is also defending Hunter Biden against gun charges amid the Justice Department’s years-long tax evasion probe. 

The senator has rejected calls for his resignation bellowed by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and other Democrat members of Congress. 

Evidence photos included in the indictment charging Senator Robert Menendez and Nadine Menendez with bribery.

An evidence photo shows envelopes of cash found in Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez’s home.  (United States District Court )

He did, however, step down from his role as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. 

In a statement Friday, Menendez denied the allegations and condemned “how quickly some are rushing to judge a Latino and push him out of his seat.” 

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“I am not going anywhere,” he said, vowing to “continue to fight for the people of New Jersey with the same success I’ve had for the past five decades.”

Menendez faced a previous federal corruption indictment in 2015, but those charges ended in a mistrial in 2017. In 2018, the Senate Ethics Committee said he broke federal law and rules of the upper chamber in accepting unreported gifts from a friend and political ally. He still won reelection later that year. 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 



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