Bob Menendez Hit With Even More Charges

Democratic Senator Bob Menendez from New Jersey is facing even more criminal allegations and charges after another indictment was handed down earlier this week.

The new charges were returned by a Manhattan grand jury on Tuesday. They come roughly two months before Menendez, his wife Nadine and two other businessmen from New Jersey — Fred Daibes and Wael Hana — are set to see their trial start over charges that were previously filed.

Recently, a fifth defendant in that case, Jose Uribe, pleaded guilty to charges including conspiracy to commit bribery and obstruction of justice. As part of his plea deal, Urbie agreed that he would cooperate with the government in their case against Menendez and his wife.

The initial bribery charges against Menendez were filed last September. The indictment handed down on Tuesday marks the third time that prosecutors have added charges to that initial indictment.

The second round accused the Democratic senator of being an agent for the Egyptian government.

Politico reported that this indictment includes 12 new counts.

Menendez had been seeking to suppress some evidence against him, which included gold bars and cash that were found at his home, but he lost that effort in court.

This expanded indictment accuses the Menendezes of writing checks to repay bribe money to some of the other people involved in the conspiracy, and also of lying about what the purpose of those payments were.

One new section of the indictment alleges:

“Menendez and Nadine Mendenz wrote checks and letters falsely characterizing the return of bribe money to Wael Hana … and Jose Uribe as repayments for loans. … [The Menendezes] caused their counsel to make statements regarding the bribe money from Hana and Uribe [which they] knew were false, in an effort to interfere with an investigation.”

In addition, the indictment alleges that when Nadine sold two gold bars that were alleged to be bribe payments, it amounted to obstruction of justice.

The New Jersey senator responded to this latest indictment as a “flagrant abuse of power.”

He released a statement this week that said:

“The latest charge reveals far more about the government than it says about me. It says that the prosecutors are afraid of the facts, scared to subject their charges to the fair-minded scrutiny of a jury, and unconstrained by any sense of justice or fair play. It says, once and for all, that they will stop at nothing in their zeal to get me.

“I have no intention of allowing overzealous prosecutors, with unlimited resources and budget, to do that to me. I am innocent and will prove it no matter how many charges they continue to pile on.”

Politicians on both sides of the aisle have urged Menendez to step down from his position on Congress, but he’s so far refused to do so.

Menendez is expected to lose his seat come next year anyway, as one of two other Democratic candidates — Representative Andy Kim and New Jersey first lady Tammy Murphy — are expected to win the party’s primary for the seat in June.