Bob Menendez Now Facing Even More Charges

( – Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the senior US Senator from New Jersey, is facing multiple corruption charges after being indicted late last year. Now, federal prosecutors have also charged him with obstruction of justice. Menendez has represented New Jersey in the Senate for 18 years, but the shadow of corruption allegations has hung over him for almost all that time. With senior Democrats urging him to go, his time might have run out.

Menendez: A Checkered Career

Bob Menendez has represented New Jersey in Congress since 1992. He began by representing the state’s 13th Congressional District, then moved to the Senate in 2006. Along the way, he’s received the support of consistently solid majorities during elections, but corruption claims have also dogged much of his political career. Months after Menendez received his initial appointment to the Senate, two state legislators filed an ethics complaint against him. The ethics committee took no action against him for that complaint. Yet, in 2015, federal prosecutors indicted him on charges of bribery, fraud, and making false statements after they accused him of advocating on behalf of a political donor’s business. The Senate’s Committee on Ethics severely admonished him and ordered him to repay the bribes he’d received.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like he learned any lessons from that incident. In 2022, more allegations arose. This time, prosecutors alleged that he and his wife had accepted gifts in exchange for giving preferential treatment to businesses. Last September, the Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted the Menendezes and three others on corruption charges.

In October, the DOJ added more charges, alleging that Menendez had passed “sensitive US government information” to Egypt and had failed to register as an agent of a foreign power. At this point, other Democrats, including New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) and Senator John Fetterman (D-PA), started calling on him to resign. So far, he has refused, but in January, he faced even more corruption charges related to Qatar.

Now, the DOJ is charging Menendez and his wife, yet again, on 18 counts of obstructing justice. Prosecutors say he lied about mortgage and car payments that two local businessmen made for his wife. Menendez claimed the payments were loans. However, the senator’s former lawyers claim they were bribes.

One of the businessmen who allegedly bribed him, Jose Uribe, pleaded guilty to fraud and bribery charges in late February. The beleaguered senator claimed the new allegations were false. He accused prosecutors of trying to pressure him into changing his not-guilty plea on the earlier charges, and he’s still refusing to resign, but he’s running out of supporters.

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