US DOJ files new obstruction of justice charges against Senator Bob Menendez and his wife – JURIST

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a new superseding indictment Tuesday against Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and his wife Nadine Menendez. The superseding indictment added new obstruction of justice charges against the couple in the ongoing case for bribery, honest services wire fraud, extortion and acting as an unregistered foreign agent of Egypt.

The new charges for conspiracy to commit obstruction and obstruction of justice stem from the Menendezs’ alleged actions to impede a criminal bribery investigation against Jose Uribe, who pleaded guilty to bribery charges last week, and Nadine Menendez. According to the indictment, Uribe purchased a luxury vehicle for Nadine Menendez, and the two conspired to claim that Uribe’s payments on the car were a loan and not a bribe. The indictment went on to allege that Bob Menendez then told his lawyers to tell investigators that he did not know about a separate incident wherein a New Jersey businessman made a large mortgage payment on behalf of Nadine Menendez. The indictment also alleged that Nadine Menendez lied to investigators, claiming the mortgage payment was a loan.

In a statement to the Associated Press (AP), Bob Menendez asserted his innocence, claiming, “I am innocent and will prove it no matter how many charges they continue to pile on.” He went on to argue that prosecutors have “long known that I learned of and helped repay loans—not bribes—that had been provided to my wife.”

During the Democratic party leadership’s weekly press conference following the weekly caucus lunch, Senate Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), when asked by the press about the newest charges, stated, “Look, the bottom line is I have said the Senate has certain standards that we must live up to. I am very disappointed that Senator Menendez has not lived up to those standards.” When asked why Bob Menendez had not been removed from his positions on the Finance, Banking and Foreign Relations Committees, Schumer repeated his statement.

In September 2023, Bob Menendez was initially charged with receiving more than $500,000 in cash, $100,000 worth of gold bars, a Mercedes-Benz luxury car and a $23,000 mortgage payment as part of multiple bribery schemes. The initial indictment also alleged that Nadine Menendez was offered a “low-to-no-show job” by an Egyptian-American businessman while she was dating the senator and that Bob Menendez then met with multiple Egyptian government officials, obtained “non-public” information for the Egyptian government and used his position to facilitate military aid for Egypt. Then, in October 2023, the DOJ officially indicted Bob Menendez for acting as a foreign agent of the Egyptian government. Bob Menendez pleaded not guilty to acting as a foreign agent of the Egyptian government and filed a motion to dismiss those charges.

This is not the first time Bob Menendez has come under scrutiny for allegations of corruption. In 2015, Bob Menendez was charged with accepting approximately $1 million in gifts and campaign contributions from his friend, Dr. Salomon Melgen, in exchange for pulling strings in a lawsuit against Melgen for $8.9 million of Medicare overbilling and helping Melgen’s girlfriends obtain their visas. In 2016, he appealed the charges, but the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit refused to dismiss them. He then attempted to appeal to the Supreme Court but was denied review. However, the district court judge eventually declared a mistrial in the case after the jury deadlocked. Then, in 2018, a district court judge acquitted Bob Menendez of seven of the 18 total charges, with the DOJ eventually dropping the rest.

Bob and Nadine Menendez are now facing a total of 18 criminal charges.

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