Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and his wife, Nadine Menendez, each face three federal counts stemming from a 39-page indictment alleging they accepted bribes from New Jersey businessmen “in exchange for using Menendez’s power and influence as a Senator” not only to “protect and enrich” the men, but to “benefit the Arab Republic of Egypt.”
Per a copy of the indictment obtained and published by the New York Times, Menendez faces three counts: Conspiracy to Commit Bribery in violation of Section 201(b)(2)(A) and (C) under Title 18 of the U.S. Code, Conspiracy to Commit Honest Service Fraud under Sections 1343 and 1346 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code, and Conspiracy to Commit Extortion Under Color of Official Right under Section 1951(b)(2) and Section 1951(b)(3) of Title 18. The allegations stem from his and Nadine Menendez’s allegedly corrupt relationship with their codefendants, Wael Hana, Jose Uribe, and Fred Daibes.
At a press conference shortly after 11:00 a.m. Eastern, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams laid out allegations of corruption against Menedez and the codefendants between 2018-2022:
The indictment alleges that through that relationship, the senator and his wife accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes in exchange for Senator Menendez using his power and influence, to protect and to enrich those businessmen and to benefit the government of Egypt. The indictment alleges that Hana Uribe, and Dabies, provided bribes in the form of cash, gold, home mortgage payments, a low show or no show job for Nadine Menendez, Mercedes Benz and other things of value to the senator and his wife.
Striking images from the indictment show gold bars, large stacks of cash, and the Mercedes Benz in focus:
In June 2022, federal agents searched Menendez’s home and his and his wife’s safe deposit box in New Jersey, according to the indictment and Williams, who noted:
When they got there, they discovered approximately $500,000 of cash stuffed into envelopes in closets. Some of the cash was stuffed in the senator’s jacket pockets. Some of the cash some of the envelopes of cash contained Daibes fingerprints, the Daibes DNA. That’s not all. Agents also discovered a lot of gold, gold that was provided by Dabies and Hanna, and the FBI of course found the Mercedes Benz that Uribe had provided them.
The indictment alleges that Senator Menendez used his power and influence, including his leadership role on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to benefit the government of Egypt in various ways. Among other actions, Senator Menendez allegedly provided sensitive, nonpublic U.S. government information to Egyptian officials and otherwise took steps to secretly aid the government of Egypt. We also allege that Senator Menendez improperly pressured a senior official at the U.S. Department of Agriculture to protect a lucrative monopoly that the government of Egypt had awarded to Hana, a lucrative monopoly that Hana then used to fund certain bribe payments.
He added that it accuses Menedez of using “power and influence to try to disrupt a criminal investigation and prosecution undertaken by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office related to an associate and a relative of Uribe,” in addition to alleging he attempted “to disrupt a federal prosecution of Daibes in the district of New Jersey.”
Menedez was previously indicted on corruption charges in 2015. The case resulted in a mistrial, as NBC News noted.
The case is the United States of America v. Menendez, No. 23 CRIM 490, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.