Menendez and his wife, Nadine, were accused of receiving cash, gold, a luxury car and mortgage payments in exchange for influence. They are said to have made similar deals with the Egyptian authorities. Both will appear before a judge on Wednesday.
A judge in New Jersey has been investigating the couple for some time. During a search last summer, federal agents found documents confirming the payment of $480,000 (about 450,000 euros) in cash hidden in envelopes, cabinets and gold bars in Menendez’s home. They also found a luxury Mercedes convertible in the garage, allegedly paid for by one of three New Jersey businessmen who arranged the ‘money’ on behalf of the Egyptian authorities to Menendez.
Both Menendez and his wife deny the allegations.
No more Senate committee chairman
Schumer says Menendez will no longer serve as chairman of the Senate International Relations Committee “until the matter is clarified.” The group’s chairman plays a key role in President Joe Biden’s foreign policy, for example when rallying support for Ukraine. According to prosecutors, Menendez may have misused his position as chairman of the group in bribery.
Senate President Schumer points out that Menendez “has a right to a fair trial” in the future. There is currently no indication that he plans to relinquish his Senate post.
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