U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) questions Zalmay Khalilzad, special envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 27, 2021.
Susan Walsh | Pool | Reuters
U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and his wife have been indicted in New York on federal bribery charges related to their allegedly “corrupt relationship” with three businessmen from their home state to protect those men and benefit the nation of Egypt.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan has scheduled a press conference for 11 a.m. ET Friday to discuss the indictment against the senator and Nadine Menendez, which also charges the three businessmen: Wael Hana, Jose Uribe and Fred Daibes.
The indictment says that the Democrat Menendez and his wife from at least 2018 through 2022 accepted “hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for using Menendez’s power and influence as Senator” to benefit the men and Egypt.
Those bribes included cash, gold, payments toward a home mortgage, compensation for a low-or-no-who job, a luxury vehicle, and other things of value,” according to the indictment issued by a grand jury in Manhattan federal court.
U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and his wife Nadine Arslanian arrive for a reception honoring of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his wife Mareva Mitsotakis in the East Room of the White House on May 16, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images
Menendez, who is up for reelection in 2024, is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
He and Nadine are charged with three counts: conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, and conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right.
Hana, Uribe and Daibes are charged with the first two of those criminal counts.
A phone message left at Menendez’s personal Senate office was not immediately returned. A spokesman for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee did not respond to a request for comment from CNBC.
The indictment says that during a June 2022 raid on the Menendezs’ New Jersey home and a safe deposit box, federal agents found cash, gold and a luxury vehicle that were the “fruits of [the couple’s] corrupt bribery agreement” with the businessmen.
“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 indictment said.
“Some of the envelopes contained the fingerprints and/or DNA of Daibes or his driver,” the charging document said.
In addition to the cash, agents also seized 81.5 ounces of gold bars, which at current prices are worth about $155,000.
Two of the gold bars DAIBES provided are depicted in the photographs.
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