Sen. Menendez acted as a foreign agent, prosecutors allege

Sen. Robert Menendez

Authorities accused Sen. Bob Menendez of acting as a foreign agent for Egypt for years in documents filed Thursday in court.

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Menendez, D-N.J., acted as an agent for Egypt from January 2018 through at least June 2022, federal prosecutors said in a superseding indictment. During that time, he served as the ranking member and then the chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations committee.

Menendez, his wife Nadine and New Jersey businessman Wael “Will” Hana face one count of conspiring for a public official to act as a foreign agent, among other charges.

The new allegations come after a grand jury indicted Menendez and his wife on corruption and bribery charges last month. Authorities said the couple accepted bribes — including cash, gold, home mortgage payments, a luxury car and more — in exchange for using the senator’s power to benefit three New Jersey businessmen and the Egyptian government.

The Menendezes and the businessmen, Hana, Jose Uribe and Fred Daibes, have pleaded not guilty to charges connected with the investigation.

Prosecutors said that authorities searching a safety deposit box and the couple’s home in New Jersey last year found more than $100,000 dollars’ worth of gold bars and more than $480,000 in cash stuffed in clothing, closets and a safe.

Menendez said at a news conference last month that the cash found by authorities had been taken out of his savings account in case of emergencies, a precaution he said he took “because of the history of my family facing confiscation in Cuba.”

He has denied any wrongdoing and resisted calls for his resignation.

“I firmly believe that when all the facts are presented, not only will I be exonerated, but I still will be New Jersey’s senior senator,” he said.

The case marks the second time corruption charges have been leveled at Menendez. In 2015, authorities accused him of accepting bribes from a Florida ophthalmologist. Prosecutors later dropped the case after a federal jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict.

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