By Nikki Slusher
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NN) has entered a whirlwind of controversy over bribery allegations, and it seems to just be getting started. The Senator was indicted on charges at the end of last week
“For 30 years, I have withdrawn thousands of dollars in cash from my personal savings account, which I have kept for emergencies, and because of the history of my family facing confiscation in Cuba,” said Menendez per CNN. “Now this may seem old fashioned, but these were monies drawn from my personal savings account based on the income that I have lawfully derived over those 30 years.”
Per CNN’s reporting, the indictment describes “searches of Menendez’s home and safe deposit box that federal agents conducted in 2022 turned up nearly $500,000 in cash, including in envelopes inside jackets emblazoned with Menendez’s name. Prosecutors say some of the envelopes had the fingerprints or DNA of one of the business contacts from whom the senator is accused of taking bribes.”
Sen. Menendez is facing charges for three alleged crimes, including being on the receiving end of a bribery conspiracy per court documents. Menendez’ swift and three New Jersey associates are also being charged on conspiracy counts. The group allegedly coordinated to utilize Menendez’s power as an elected member of the U.S. Senate to provide benefits personally and for the country of Egypt. The Senator and his wife allegedly accepted gifts, such as bars of gold, a Mercedes, and cash, from the businessmen in lieu of legislative favors for them and Egypt.
Sen. Menendez defended his record on Monday regarding Egypt, stating, “If you look at my actions related to Egypt during the period described in this indictment, and throughout my whole career, my record is clear and consistent in holding Egypt accountable for its unjust detention of American citizens and others, its human rights abuses, its deepening relationship with Russia, and efforts that have eroded the independence of the nation’s judiciary, among a myriad of concerns.”
The list of Democratic leaders who are calling for Menendez’s resignation is growing too. At this time, the New Jersey Governor, six members of its state delegation, Sen. Brown, Sen. Welch, and Sen. Fetterman all have publicly stated it’s time Menendez leaves the Senate. Rep. Andy Kim has already announced he will primary Menendez next year for the U.S. Senate seat if he does not step down.
Menendez has continued to deny any wrongdoing, and has pushed back on all resignation calls accusing those doing so as “rushed to judgment” for the sake of “political expediency.” Speaking on the legal battle he faces, Menendez said “I recognize this will be the biggest fight yet…But as I have stated throughout this whole process, I firmly believe that when all the facts are presented, not only will I be exonerated, but I still will be New Jersey’s senior senator.”