An attorney for Menendez, 69, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. David Schertler, attorney for Menendez’s wife, Nadine Menendez, said, “Ms. Menendez denies any criminal conduct and will vigorously contest these charges in court.” The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan said it would hold a news conference on the charges later Friday.
This is the second time Menendez has been charged. Menendez went to trial in 2017, resulting in a hung jury. Although prosecutors briefly intended to retry the case, they quickly gave up.
Prominent Democrat’s latest indictment gives DOJ a chance to appear politically impartial as it faces harsh criticism from former President Donald Trump and his allies over the two federal criminal charges against him .
Friday’s indictment alleges explosive conduct by Menendez. According to prosecutors, he “provided sensitive information to the U.S. government and took other actions that covertly aided the Egyptian government,” and also pressured a U.S. Department of Agriculture official to profit in the affairs of one of the accused.
Prosecutors also say Mendendez used his position “to seek to disrupt a criminal investigation and prosecution initiated by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office” involving another of the accused businessmen, Jose Uribe, and his associates. And they say Menendez recommended that the president nominate a person to become the United States Attorney in New Jersey who Menendez said “could be influenced” by the senator to impact the prosecution of another of his men. ‘business indicted, Fred Daibes.
During a search of the Menendez home in New Jersey in June 2022, federal agents investigating the alleged scheme found “more than $480,000 in cash – much of which was placed in envelopes and hidden in clothing , closets and a safe,” as well as $70,000 in Nadine Menendez’s house. safe, the indictment states.
The indictment — the culmination of years of investigation by federal prosecutors in New York — is the latest legal blow to the New Jersey senator and the powerful chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who has survived two previous federal investigations.
The first, in 2006, focused on whether Menendez had done favors for a nonprofit organization that paid him about $300,000 in rent. Federal authorities ultimately abandoned this investigation.
The second came to a head in 2015, when federal prosecutors in New Jersey brought corruption charges against Menendez, alleging he helped an ophthalmologist with federal officials in exchange for vacations at the doctor’s Dominican villa, theft by private jet and donations for the campaign.
Although Menendez’s trial ended in a hung jury, he was later reprimanded by the Senate Ethics Committee regarding his conduct with the doctor.
Josh Gerstein contributed reporting.