U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) has entered a plea of not guilty to charges of accepting bribes from three New Jersey businessmen. The allegations have brought on loud calls for his resignation, especially from fellow Democrats.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have accused Menendez and his wife, Nadine Menendez, of accepting gold bars and significant sums of money in exchange for the senator’s influence in business deals, assisting Egypt’s government, and obstructing law enforcement investigations concerning the businessmen.
The indictment revealed that Menendez and his wife allegedly received cash, gold, mortgage payments, a luxury vehicle, and other valuable items. A search at the senator’s residence uncovered $100,000 in gold and $480,000 in concealed cash.
The hearing, presided over by U.S. Magistrate Judge Ona Wang, saw Menendez potentially being released on a $100,000 personal recognizance bond. The conditions stipulate the surrender of his personal passport, though he can retain his official passport for official overseas duties.
Following the charges, Menendez relinquished his position as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in line with party regulations. However, he has expressed his intention to remain in the Senate and contest the allegations.
The indictment has had significant political repercussions. The Democratic Party, which