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Report: Sen. Menendez, NJ Democrat, faces new federal probe


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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat who avoided conviction on corruption charges five years ago, is reportedly the subject of a new federal investigation.

https://apnews.com/article/new-jersey-manhattan-congress-government-and-politics-67ce614f731530339a48f017914f9c71

phkrause

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Businessman Caught in Bob Menendez Probe Has Mob Ties

Fred Daibes, the real estate magnate who has assumed a central role in the probe into Senator Bob Menendez, has relationships with people linked to the Genovese crime family.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/fred-daibes-caught-in-bob-menendez-probe-has-ties-to-genovese-mob-crime-family?

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Menendez steps down temporarily as U.S. Senate committee chairman amid federal charges

WASHINGTON — New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez will temporarily step aside as chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee following a federal indictment for conspiracy to commit bribery and other charges.

https://floridaphoenix.com/2023/09/22/menendez-steps-down-temporarily-as-u-s-senate-committee-chairman-amid-federal-charges/

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Gold bars and hidden cash

Today's indictment of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) — chairman of the Senate's powerful Foreign Relations Committee — included stunning bribery allegations and damning photos.

  • Why it matters: It's the second time he has faced federal corruption-related charges in the last decade, Axios' Erin Doherty writes.

The 39-page indictment, brought by the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan, alleges Menendez used his position to enrich three Egyptian businessmen.

  • He also "provided sensitive U.S. government information" that "secretly aided" the government of Egypt, according to the indictment.

🔎 Prosecutors say federal agents searching Menendez's property found:

  • $480,000 in cash stuffed into envelopes and clothes — including jackets with Menendez's name and the Senate seal.
  • $70,oo0 more in his wife's safe deposit box.
  • $100,000+ worth of gold bars.
  • A $60,000 Mercedes-Benz convertible that was allegedly obtained in the scheme.

Zoom in: Prosecutors found web searches by Menendez for "how much is one kilo of gold worth" and "kilo of gold price."

  • The DNA of a co-defendant was found on one of the cash-stuffed envelopes.

Menendez denied wrongdoing when news of the probe leaked in May.

  • His last corruption case — over alleged bribes from a Florida eye doctor — ended in a mistrial in 2017.

 ... Read the indictment.

Gold bars, cash-stuffed envelopes: New indictment of Sen. Menendez alleges vast corruption

NEW YORK (AP) — Powerful Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey was charged Friday with secretly aiding the authoritarian government of Egypt and trying to thwart the criminal prosecution of a friend in exchange for gold bars and cash under a corruption indictment that accuses him of using his foreign affairs influence for personal gain.

https://apnews.com/article/senator-menendez-indicted-729db45fcf21c42ba707c9d0139349e9?

phkrause

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Menendez “Appreciated” Meeting With Egypt Dictator Amid Alleged Bribes for Arms Sales

Sen. Robert Menendez was indicted Friday for taking bribes to approve arms sales to Egyptian strongman Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

https://theintercept.com/2023/09/22/menendez-indictment-egypt/?

phkrause

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The Menendez Scandal Reflects The World That SCOTUS Built

The high court has been telling politicians that flagrant corruption is now perfectly legal.

https://www.levernews.com/the-menendez-scandal-reflects-the-world-that-scotus-built/?

phkrause

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US Sen. Bob Menendez pleads not guilty to pocketing bribes in a wide-ranging corruption case

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to federal charges accusing him of pocketing bribes of cash and gold bars in exchange for wielding his political influence to secretly advance Egyptian interests and do favors for local businessmen.

https://apnews.com/article/bob-menendez-gold-bars-bribery-arraignment-49599ba95fbf19ed5169055e24817fea?

phkrause

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🏛️ These are all Democrats ...

 
mail?url=https%3A%2F%2Fimages.axios.com%
Screenshot: MSNBC

... calling for Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) to resign after being indicted Friday on bribery charges. Sen. Cory Booker, his fellow Democrat from the Garden State, joined the list yesterday.

  • Menendez's defiant vow to stay and fight is being backed by Republicans — showing the parties' Trump-era divergence on what disqualifies someone from public office, Andrew Solender writes in Axios Sneak Peek.

Read the story.

phkrause

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US Sen. Bob Menendez pleads not guilty to pocketing bribes in a wide-ranging corruption case

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to federal charges accusing him of pocketing bribes of cash and gold bars in exchange for wielding his political influence to secretly advance Egyptian interests and do favors for local businessmen.

https://apnews.com/article/bob-menendez-gold-bars-bribery-arraignment-49599ba95fbf19ed5169055e24817fea?

phkrause

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⚖️ Menendez gets breathing room

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) stopped short of calling on Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) to resign today, saying the indicted Democrat will have a chance to address the allegations before the full caucus tomorrow.

Why it matters: At least 30 Senate Democrats — including several of Schumer's deputies — have called for Menendez's resignation as he fights federal bribery charges, to which he pleaded not guilty in Manhattan today.

  • Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) was officially elevated to Menendez's old position as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a move that could have significant foreign policy implications.
  • For example, House Foreign Affairs Chair Michael McCaul (R-Texas) predicted the shakeup could clear the way for the U.S. to finally transfer F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, a sale Menendez had been blocking.

Flashback: In 2020, Menendez singlehandedly blocked bipartisan legislation that would have strengthened foreign influence and lobbying laws — an intervention now under scrutiny given allegations that he accepted bribes from a businessman with ties to Egypt's government, NBC News reports.

 

phkrause

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Menendez Indictment Looks Like Egypt Recruiting Intelligence Source, Say Former CIA Officials

“Reading the indictment, it certainly appears like the Egyptian government was using a classic source-recruitment pattern to get Menendez and his wife to spy for them.”

https://theintercept.com/2023/09/27/menendez-indictment-egypt-intelligence/?

phkrause

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Sen. Menendez is accused of being an unregistered agent of Egypt’s government in updated indictment

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey was charged Thursday with conspiring for years to act as an agent of the Egyptian government while he held a powerful role in shaping U.S. foreign policy, putting the Democrat in deeper legal trouble as he continues to reject calls to resign.

https://apnews.com/article/bob-menendez-indictment-c1850764b8ce7c613fc50f0e4f495e87?

phkrause

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Sen. Menendez returns to New York court to enter plea to new conspiracy charge

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez returns to court Monday to enter an expected not guilty plea to a conspiracy charge alleging he acted as an agent of the Egyptian government when he chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

https://apnews.com/article/bob-menendez-indictment-arraignment-afcf83d5dd20250b85d12fd8819c9fc3?

phkrause

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Prosecutors say Sen. Menendez cashed in by linking Qatari royal family member with NJ businessman

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez used his international clout to help a friend get a multimillion-dollar deal with a Qatari investment fund, partly by taking actions favorable to Qatar’s government, federal prosecutors said Tuesday in a revised indictment.

https://apnews.com/article/bob-menendez-wife-defendants-bribery-indictment-6e93a0b21a914f7d406bce47ded385fe?

phkrause

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Sen. Bob Menendez accused of abusing his position to benefit Qatar

Federal authorities issued a new superseding indictment against U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez Tuesday, accusing the former head of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee of accepting bribes to benefit both the government of Qatar and a friend who was looking to hook a Qatari investor for his real estate development.

https://floridaphoenix.com/2024/01/03/sen-bob-menendez-accused-of-abusing-his-position-to-benefit-qatar/?

phkrause

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⚖️ Indicted Menendez lashes out

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) railed against federal prosecutors on the Senate floor today, growing emotional as he accused them of a "smear campaign" in the wake of another superseding indictment.

Why it matters: The former Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair has faced immense pressure to resign over criminal allegations that include accepting bribes to benefit the governments of Egypt and Qatar.

What they're saying: "I am suffering greatly as a result of what they have done," Menendez, choking back tears.

  • "After 50 years of public service, this is not how I wanted to celebrate my golden jubilee. But I have never violated the public trust."
  • Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.), a leading Democratic critic of Menendez, remarked after the speech: "That sleazeball has to go."

Keep reading

phkrause

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New Jersey businessman pleads guilty and agrees to cooperate in Sen. Bob Menendez’s corruption case

NEW YORK (AP) — A New Jersey businessman pleaded guilty Friday to trying to bribe U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, admitting that he gave the senator’s wife a car to influence him and agreeing to a deal with prosecutors that calls for him to testify in the corruption case against the powerful Democrat.

https://apnews.com/article/menendez-uribe-federal-bribery-indictment-a7f1d893f1ee387f079161011e9dd37e?

phkrause

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New obstruction of justice crimes levied against Sen. Bob Menendez in rewritten indictment

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez and his wife face new charges that they obstructed justice while they were being investigated over allegations that they accepted bribes of gold bars, cash and a luxury car from three favor-seeking New Jersey businessmen.

https://apnews.com/article/menendez-federal-bribery-indictment-136e45051b074dbe1a366214cee2634f?

phkrause

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Donors to Bob Menendez Legal Defense Linked to Ex-Terror Group

Sen. Robert Mendendez, D-N.J., is fighting charges that he accepted money in exchange for assisting foreign governments. That legal defense is being paid in part by donors with links to a former terrorist organization, a sign of the senator’s need for fast cash.

https://theintercept.com/2024/03/13/bob-menendez-legal-defense-fund-iran-mek/?

phkrause

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New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez says he won’t run in Democratic primary

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey said Thursday he won’t run in the Democratic primary as he faces federal corruption charges, but he left open the possibility that he would reenter the race as an independent later this year if he is exonerated at a trial.

https://apnews.com/article/menendez-bribery-senate-new-jersey-7a8cd625f5be3d2f2c4c1f2c2a72ff9e?

phkrause

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Menendez lawyers blame his wife

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.)'s lawyers sought to pin the blame on his wife during today's opening arguments in his second corruption trial.

  • "Let me say this about Nadine [Menendez]: Nadine had financial concerns that she kept from Bob," Menendez lawyer Avi Weitzman told the jury.
  • Weitzman said the cash found in Menendez's home was accumulated over years, and the gold bars belonged to Menendez's wife.

The Menendezes have pleaded not guilty in the federal case.

phkrause

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New Jersey businessman testifies he promised up to $250,000 in bribes for Sen. Bob Menendez’s help

NEW YORK (AP) — A New Jersey businessman took his star turn on the witness stand in the bribery case against Sen. Bob Menendez on Friday, telling a jury he believed he had a $200,000-to-$250,000 deal in 2018 for the Democrat to pressure the New Jersey attorney general’s office to stop investigating his friends and family.

https://apnews.com/article/senator-bob-menendez-bribery-trial-954b785be7cd6605d4e751bf39fd2f58?

phkrause

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Bob Menendez's Hail Mary

👀 Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) appears to be looking for a way to hold influence over the Democratic Party, even as he's on trial on federal corruption charges.

  • At least that's what Democratic insiders in New Jersey now think of Menendez's surprise independent bid to hang on to the Senate seat he's occupied since 2006.
  • Democratic sources tell Axios they think the move by Menendez — until recently the powerful chair of the Senate's Foreign Relations committee — could be a ploy to demand favors, such as fundraising for legal expenses in exchange for leaving the race.
  • Menendez scoffs at that, but his independent campaign has cast a cloud over Democrats' efforts to keep the seat blue in November.
  • 😬 His bid landed with a thud on New Jersey Democrats, many of whom already had called for his resignation, ensuring little-to-no institutional support back home.

🥊 Those who know Menendez say it's in his political DNA to scrap and claw to the last breath.

  • "He is an aggressive, bareknuckle type of player that is relentless. Those same character traits are what you're seeing today," Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, a Democrat who is running for governor next year, told Axios.
  • Micah Rasmussen, who was press secretary to former New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey (D), told Axios that Menendez's independent campaign was him "extending his sell-by date, at least until August," referring to the Aug. 16 deadline for Menendez to remove his name from the ballot.

National Democrats say they aren't worried about Menendez becoming an election spoiler to Democratic nominee Andy Kim in a state that hasn't sent a Republican to the Senate in 52 years.

  • "We're going to make sure a Republican is not elected to that seat," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said last week.

🎤 "My candidacy is not, and never was, about leveraging my fellow Democrats," Menendez, who's seeking a fourth term, said in a statement to Axios.

💰 Catch up quick: The senator and his wife, Nadine, are accused of trading Menendez's influence for "hundreds of thousands of dollars" in bribes — including gold bars.

  • Remaining a federal candidate allows Menendez to raise and spend money for his legal fees.

Read more.

phkrause

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Prosecutor tells New York City jury at bribery trial that Sen. Bob Menendez put power ‘up for sale’

NEW YORK (AP) — A prosecutor accused Sen. Bob Menendez in a closing argument at his bribery trial Monday of putting his power up for sale to benefit three New Jersey businessmen who bribed him with gold, cash and a luxury car.

https://apnews.com/article/menendez-bribery-trial-closing-arguments-8a715ff2005f10afc03c2e1143cc6154?

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