The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced Friday morning that it will soon unseal an indictment charging Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and his wife with counts of bribery.
In a tweet, the office alleges the forthcoming bribery charges against the sitting senator and his wife, Nadine Menendez, are “in connection with their corrupt relationship with three New Jersey businessmen”:
The office, headed up by U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, is set to hold a press conference at 11:00 a.m. Eastern to formally announce the unsealing.
Menendez is reportedly at the center of a separate but similar federal investigation, a 2015 probe into Menedez and Democrat donor Salomon Melgen on allegations of bribery and conspiracy, as Breitbart News noted. Menendez was indicted that year “on corruption charges, following a months-long federal investigation into whether he used his power to advance the special interests of a friend and donor in exchange for gifts,” as the Guardian reported at the time.
“Menendez received cash, gold bars, payments toward a home mortgage, compensation for a low- or no-show job, a luxury vehicle and other items of value,” NBC News reported, citing a copy of the filing it obtained.
In May, the Wall Street Journal noted that in 2018, Menendez held a meeting with one New Jersey businessman, Wael Hana, allegedly at the center of the Southern District of New York’s corruption probe into Menendez:
The meeting, which hasn’t been previously reported, came months before the businessman, Wael Hana, secured a contract with Egyptian officials for certifying halal meat exports. The contract is a key part of the probe examining whether Menendez, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, or his wife received gifts in exchange for political favors.
That year, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi and his military council decided they wanted one company to control all imports of halal meat, as part of a broader effort to increase the military’s control on the Egyptian economy, according to senior Egyptian officials. Hana, a U.S. citizen and Egyptian national, had limited experience with halal certification before winning the contract with Cairo.
Months later, in May 2019, Hana’s company became the sole certifier of halal meat exported from the U.S. to Egypt, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Menendez pushed back against the allegations while speaking with CNN.
“If anyone looks at my history on Egypt, they would know that by both denying aid to Egypt, denying arms sales to Egypt, criticizing its human-rights records, I am not in a position to be helpful to anyone as it relates to Egypt,” he said.
Notably, Breitbart News’s Washington Bureau Chief Matthew Boyle first reported during his time at the Daily Caller that Menendez, while in the Dominican Republic, solicited underage prostitutes.
“Presented with specific, corroborated allegations that defendants Menendez and Melgen had sex with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic, the Government responsibly and dutifully investigated those serious allegations,” the Department of Justice wrote in a 2015 filing.