The Justice Department’s top attorney for New Jersey presented the initial findings of his office’s investigation into Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), laying out how the 30-year incumbent hid bars of gold and cash throughout his house that he received for allegedly pressuring government officials to take business from his political supporters.
Damian Williams, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, laid out the case at a Friday morning press conference, telling reporters how a raid of the senator’s house uncovered more than $100,000 in gold bars and over $460,000 in cold hard cash socked away in clothing, closets, and safes throughout the house. The New Jersey Democrat and his wife Nadine face a three-count indictment for bribery offenses.
“The indictment alleges that between 2018 and 2022, Senator Menendez – the senior U.S. Senator from New Jersey and the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and his wife Nadine Menendez – engaged in a corrupt relationship with Hanna, Uribe, and Davies… and through that relationship accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes,” said Williams.
U.S. Attorney Lays Out Corruption/Bribery Charges Against Sen. Menendez and his wife Nadine pic.twitter.com/htEvIU1rDR
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 22, 2023
The businessmen named in the indictment, which was unsealed in Manhattan federal court, are Fred Daibes, a prominent New Jersey real estate developer and fund-raiser for Mr. 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.
Court filings describe how the power couple accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from three businessmen to direct the State Department to encourage the government of Egypt to accept their business. The bribes included cash, gold, payments toward a home mortgage, “compensation for a low-or-no-show job,” a luxury vehicle, and “other things of value.”
BREAKING: Democrat NJ Sen. Bob Menendez indicted for taking bribes from three businessmen including cash, gold, mortgage payments and a luxury vehicle @DailyCaller https://t.co/sMgmvDSS62 pic.twitter.com/dTEO9vWXDs
— James Lynch (@jameslynch32) September 22, 2023
Menendez, who was already facing similar charges related to illegal lobbying on behalf of a Florida doctor, is set to face voters next year in what will surely be an upended reelection campaign, should one occur at all. The charges are not only heavy but historic in nature: According to the Senate Historical Office, Sen. Menendez is the first sitting senator to have been indicted on two unrelated criminal allegations.
The powerful chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has built a career in office spanning three decades across both the House and Senate, surviving multiple challenges in his home state of New Jersey and previously beating criminal charges. In November 2017 a jury deadlocked on charges including bribery, fraud and conspiracy, and a judge dismissed some counts.