According to the Department of Justice, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and his wife Nadine have been charged with bribery.
The charge comes after the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, launched a corruption investigation into Menendez, who has been a member of the Senate since 2006 and chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“A press event will be held today at 11:00 a.m. to announce the unsealing of an indictment charging Robert Menendez, U.S. Senator from New Jersey, and his wife, Nadine Menendez, with bribery offenses in connection with their corrupt relationship with three New Jersey businessmen,” the DOJ said in a statement.
Menendez is charged with bribery conspiracy, honest services fraud conspiracy, and extortion under color of official power.
According to the indictment, Menendez and his wife had a corrupt relationship with New Jersey businessmen Wael Hana, Jose Uribe, and Fred Daibes, who allegedly paid the senator hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. The bribes, according to the DOJ, were designed to safeguard the merchants while also benefiting Egypt.
“Those bribes included cash, gold, payments toward a home mortgage, compensation for a low-or-no-show job, a luxury vehicle, and other things of value,” the indictment said. Federal authorities reportedly found gold bars and cash stuffed throughout the senator’s home that they traced back to the businessmen Menendez allegedly worked with.
“Over $480,000 in cash — much of it stuffed into envelopes and hidden in clothing, closets, and a safe — was discovered in the home,” the indictment said. Photos included in the indictment included pictures of gold bars and hundred-dollar bills that had been stuffed in clothing.