Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, has been indicted on federal corruption charges, officials said Friday.
A three-count indictment indicting the senator’s wife and three New Jersey businessmen accuses them of using their official position in a variety of corrupt schemes at home and abroad. In one, he sought to benefit the Egyptian government, including secretly providing sensitive U.S. government information, and in the other two, he aimed to influence the criminal investigations of two New Jersey businessmen, one of whom was Mr. Menendez.
In that decision, Senator, a Democrat, President Biden nominated Philip R. He suggested Selinger be nominated because he believed he could influence the prosecution of the fundraiser. In the end, Mr. was confirmed for the post. Selinger has not been charged with wrongdoing.
In another scheme, according to the indictment, Mr. Menendez used his position.
In exchange for all of those actions, the senator and his wife, Nadine Menendez, accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bribes, including cash, gold bars, a home mortgage, a luxury vehicle and other valuables.
Mrs. Menendez’s attorney, David Scherdler, said his client denied any criminal wrongdoing.
“Ms. Menendez denies any wrongdoing and will vigorously fight these charges in court,” said Mr. Scherdler said.
Representatives for the senator and the three businessmen could not immediately be reached for comment on the allegations.
69 year old Mr. The charges against Menendez followed a lengthy investigation by the FBI and federal prosecutors in Manhattan, after nearly six years of his trial on unrelated claims of corruption ending with a hung jury.
The businessmen named in the unsealed indictment in Manhattan federal court are a prominent New Jersey real estate developer and Mr. Fred Teibs, a fundraiser for Menendez; Wael Hana, a longtime friend of Ms. Menendez, who founded a halal meat certification business, and Jose Uribe, who works in the trucking and insurance business.
Mr. It has been known for some time that Menendez is under federal investigation, and he has said he is willing to help investigators and hopes the case will be “successfully closed.”
The 39-page indictment charges the senator, his wife and businessmen with conspiracy to commit bribery and conspiracy to commit honest service wire fraud. This is Mr. It charges Menendez and his wife with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official privilege, which means using his official position to compel someone to give him something of value.
The indictment will soon reverberate in Washington and New Jersey.
In the election scheduled for re-election for a fourth term in the Senate, Mr. Menendez already faces at least one Democratic challenger, and the Republican mayor of Mendham Borough, NJ has announced a run for the seat.
Mr. If Menendez steps down before the end of his term, New Jersey’s Democratic governor, Philip D. Murphy is responsible for appointing a successor.
Pleading guilty to financial crimes last year and awaiting sentencing, Mr. Taibs is one of a small group of builders responsible for transforming parts of the polluted Hudson River waterfront into a bustling hub of residential and commercial activity.
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams and James Smith, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York office, are scheduled to announce the charges at a news conference Friday morning.
According to Nicholas Bias, spokesman for the Southern District, Mr. Menendez, his wife and their three co-defendants are expected to appear in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday.
The charges are not the senator’s first encounter with the law. In 2015, Mr Indicted in New Jersey Federal prosecutors called a scheme between the senator and a wealthy ophthalmologist to trade political favors for gifts worth more than $1 million, including luxury vacations in the Caribbean and campaign contributions. Mr. Menendez’s corruption trial ended in a mistrial in November 2017, after the jury said it could not reach a verdict.
Judge then Mr. Menendez was acquitted of several charges and the Justice Department dismissed others.
As Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr. Menendez is one of Washington’s most influential Democrats.
He climbed up there with speed, a complete survivor.
The son of Cuban immigrants, he rose to power in Hudson County, a notoriously hard-hitting political precinct in northern New Jersey, where he began serving on the school board in Union City as a 20-year-old college student. At 32, he was mayor. Donning a bulletproof vest to testify against mafia members, Mr. Menendez won the position and a mentor, William V. Musto is the city’s mayor accused of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks from a contractor hired to build schools.
Mr. Menendez served in the state legislature and Senate before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Immediately after taking the oath of office in the Senate, Mr. Menendez faced a federal investigation led by Chris Christie, then the U.S. attorney for New Jersey, over payments to a nonprofit group that rented a home he owned. It went nowhere, but shadowed him for nearly six years.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
Kirsten Noyes Research contributed.