Sen. Menendez is scheduled to make his first court appearance on bribery charges on Wednesday

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New Jersey’s Senate is a Democrat. Robert Menendez arrives in Manhattan federal court Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in New York City.



CNN

As fellow Senate Democrats call for his resignation, Sen. Bob Menendez He came to federal court Wednesday morning in New York for his initial appearance fee The alleged bribery plot involved gold bars, hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, a luxury car and the passing of sensitive information to the Egyptian government.

Menendez is charged with three counts of bribery to use his political power and connections to help the Egyptian government obtain military aid, to pressure a prosecutor investigating New Jersey businessmen and to influence the federal prosecution of a co-defendant. .

The senator will appear before a federal judge along with his wife, Nadine, and two other co-defendants charged in the case. Vel Hana, accused in the conspiracy, Innocent On Tuesday.

More than 20 Democratic senators, Including his fellow New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, have called for Menendez to step down. Menendez, who is up for re-election next year, has already stepped down as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.

Asked Tuesday why he would not resign, Menendez told reporters: “Because I’m innocent. What’s wrong with you?”

In a statement Monday, Menendez insisted he would be freed “when all the facts are presented” and said he had withdrawn hundreds of thousands of dollars from his savings over three decades. For emergencies.

Federal agents searched Menendez’s home and found nearly $500,000 in cash — including stacks of cash inside jackets emblazoned with his name.

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According to the indictment, Menendez — through his girlfriend and now-wife Nadine Menendez — established a relationship with Hana, who allegedly maintained close ties to Egyptian officials.

Hana and Nadine allegedly arranged meetings with Menendez and Egyptian officials seeking military sales and financing, which, as head of foreign relations, Menendez wielded significant influence.

According to the indictment, Menendez and his wife promised to use the senator’s position to help facilitate the sale.

The indictment alleges that Menendez used his political power to pass highly sensitive information to Egyptian officials, helped draft a letter from the Egyptian government requesting U.S. aid, and signed off on military sales to Egypt.

Menendez is accused of taking a bribe in the form of a luxury car for his wife to pressure a New Jersey state attorney overseeing the investigation into two New Jersey businessmen linked to one of Menendez’s co-defendants.

In 2015, Menendez was indicted on corruption and bribery charges unrelated to the recent charges. Two years later the case ended in a mistrial after a jury said it was deadlocked. Later, the judge overseeing the case acquitted Menendez on some counts, while the Justice Department refused to retry him on others.

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