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Menendez to appear in court over bribery, rejects calls to resign

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Menendez to appear in court over bribery, rejects calls to resign

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, who’s embroiled in a number of corruption-related allegations, was due in courtroom Wednesday to reply to the costs.

Menendez is being accused of utilizing his highly effective submit to secretly advance Egyptian pursuits and do favors for New Jersey businessmen in trade for bribes of money and gold bars.

The New Jersey Democrat will make his first look in a federal courtroom in Manhattan amid rising calls from colleagues that he resign from Congress.

A defiant Menendez – who was compelled to step down as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee after the indictment was introduced final week – says allegations that he abused his energy to line his personal pockets are baseless. He has mentioned he is assured he can be exonerated and has no intention of leaving the Senate.

It’s the second corruption case in a decade in opposition to Menendez, whose final trial involving totally different allegations ended with jurors failing to succeed in a verdict in 2017.

Fellow New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker joined Tuesday the requires Menendez to resign, saying in a press release that the indictment comprises “shocking allegations of corruption and specific, disturbing details of wrongdoing.” Around half of Senate Democrats have now mentioned that Menendez ought to step down, together with a number of working for reelection subsequent yr.

Also set to be arraigned Wednesday is Menendez’s spouse, Nadine, who prosecutors say performed a key position in accumulating a whole bunch of 1000’s of {dollars} price of bribes from three New Jersey businessmen looking for assist from the highly effective lawmaker. An lawyer for Nadine Menendez has mentioned she additionally denies the allegations and can struggle the costs.

Two of the businessmen – Jose Uribe and Fred Daibes – are additionally anticipated to be arraigned. The third man, Wael Hana, pleaded not responsible Tuesday to costs together with conspiracy to commit bribery. Hana was arrested at New York’s Kennedy airport Tuesday after returning voluntarily from Egypt to face the costs and was ordered freed pending trial.

Authorities say they discovered practically $500,000 in money – a lot of it hidden in clothes and closets – in addition to greater than $100,000 in gold bars in a search of the New Jersey house Menendez, 69, shares along with his spouse.

In his first public remarks because the indictment, Menendez mentioned Monday that the money present in his house was drawn from his private financial savings accounts over time, and which he saved readily available for emergencies.

One of the envelopes full of money discovered at his house, nevertheless, bore Daibes’ DNA and was marked with the actual property developer’s return handle, based on prosecutors.

Prosecutors say Hana promised to place Menendez’s spouse on his firm’s payroll in a low-or-no-show job in trade for Menendez utilizing his influential submit to facilitate international army gross sales and financing to Egypt.

Prosecutors allege Hana additionally paid $23,000 towards her house mortgage, wrote $30,000 checks to her consulting firm, promised her envelopes of money, despatched her train tools and purchased a few of the gold bars that have been discovered within the couple’s house.

The indictment alleges repeated actions by Menendez to profit Egypt, regardless of U.S. authorities misgivings over the nation’s human rights file that in recent times have prompted Congress to connect restrictions on assist.

Prosecutors, who detailed conferences and dinners between Menendez and Egyptian officers, say Menendez gave delicate U.S. authorities data to Egyptian officers and ghost-wrote a letter to fellow senators encouraging them to raise a maintain on $300 million in assist to Egypt, one of many prime recipients of U.S. army help.

Prosecutors have accused Menendez of pressuring a U.S. agricultural official to cease opposing a profitable deal that gave Hana’s firm a monopoly over certifying that imported meat met spiritual requirements.

Prosecutors additionally allege Menendez tried to intervene in felony investigations involving associates. In one case, he pushed to put in a federal prosecutor in New Jersey whom Menendez believed he may affect to derail a felony case in opposition to Daibes, prosecutors allege.

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