New York

Menendez to Address Bribery Charges in News Conference

Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, planned to address the news media on Monday morning, speaking publicly for the first time since federal prosecutors last week accused him of bribery.

Mr. Menendez was expected to speak from Union City, N.J., the city where he first rose to political prominence.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan unsealed a 39-page indictment on Friday that accused him and his wife, Nadine Menendez, of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for wielding his political influence to benefit the government of Egypt and business associates in New Jersey.

Investigators found $550,000 in cash and 13 bars of gold bullion during a June 2022 search of a safe deposit box and the couple’s home in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

The indictment depicted a far-reaching web of political corruption involving aid and weapons sales to Egypt and efforts by Mr. Menendez to persuade state and federal prosecutors to go easy on his associates in three criminal cases.

Mr. Menendez was chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee until stepping aside on Friday, as required by rules the Senate Democrats adopted to govern themselves.

Mr. Menendez, his wife, and three New Jersey businessmen, who were also accused in the bribery conspiracy, are expected to appear Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan to respond to the charges.

New Jersey’s governor, Philip D. Murphy, a close ally of Mr. Menendez, called for the senator’s resignation Friday evening, unleashing a chorus of similar messages from fellow Democratic leaders across the state.

On Saturday, Representative Andy Kim, a third-term Democrat from South Jersey, said he would challenge Mr. Menendez in next year’s primary.

“Not something I expected to do, but NJ deserves better,” Mr. Kim said on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. “We cannot jeopardize the Senate or compromise our integrity.”

This was a marked departure from 2017, when most Democratic leaders stood solidly at Mr. Menendez’s side while he stood trial in federal court in New Jersey on charges that he had taken bribes from a wealthy doctor in exchange for political favors.

The jury could not reach a unanimous decision, and the Justice Department declined to retry him after a judge dismissed the most serious charges.

Bir yanıt yazın

E-posta adresiniz yayınlanmayacak. Gerekli alanlar * ile işaretlenmişlerdir

time