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US Senator Menendez to appear in court on charges of receiving bribes from Egypt

September 27, 2023 at 12:37 pm

US Senator Bob Menendez holds a press conference as he rejects accusations of corruption on 25 September, 2023 [Fatih Aktaş/Anadolu Agency]

US Senator Bob Menendez is set to appear in court today to face charges of taking bribes from three New Jersey businessman, as calls for his resignation from his fellow Democrats escalated, Reuters reports.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan last week accused Menendez, 69, and his wife of accepting gold bars and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash in exchange for the senator using his influence to aid Egypt’s government and interfere with law enforcement probes of the businessmen.

Menendez, his wife Nadine Menendez, 56, and businessmen Jose Uribe, 56, and Fred Daibes, 66, are set to appear in Manhattan federal court around 10:30 am EDT (14:30 GMT). A third businessman, Wael Hana, 40, pleaded not guilty yesterday.

David Schertler, a lawyer for Nadine Menendez, said she intends to plead not guilty and “vigorously defend” against the allegations. Lawyers for Bob Menendez, Uribe and Daibes did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

READ: US Senator Menendez defiantly rejects calls to step down

Bob Menendez, who represents New Jersey, stepped down from his role as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as required under his party’s rule. But on Monday he said that he would stay in the Senate and fight the charges.

More than one-third of all US Democratic Senators, including Cory Booker who also hails from New Jersey, have called on Menendez to resign since the charges were unveiled on Friday.

The indictment contained images of gold bars and cash investigators seized from Menendez’s home. Prosecutors say Hana arranged meetings between the senator and Egyptian officials – who pressed him to sign off on military aid – and in return put Nadine Menendez, 56, on the payroll of a company he controlled.

The probe marks the third time Menendez has been under investigation by federal prosecutors. He has never been convicted.