Feds considering charging Sen. Bob Menendez after years of corruption investigation: report

Lawyers for Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) are expected to meet with federal prosecutors in the coming weeks as the Justice Department nears a decision on whether to indict the powerful lawmaker after a years-long corruption investigation.

Long-awaited talks between the 69-year-old’s legal team and prosecutors from the Manhattan US Attorney’s Office will give Menendez an opportunity to explain why he should not be charged, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

It is unclear what possible charges could be brought against the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee or whether his wife, Nadine Arslanian, 56, has been implicated in the government investigation, according to the outlet.

The Southern District of New York’s investigation into Menendez and Arslanian, who had been in financial difficulty and facing foreclosure on their home before marrying the senator in 2020, has focused on whether they received undeclared luxury gifts, including a car and an apartment in Washington, in exchange for political favors, according to reports.

Lawyers for Bob Menendez are expected to meet with federal prosecutors in the coming weeks as the Justice Department nears a decision on whether to indict the senator. PA

The investigation dates back to at least 2019, according to the Journal, when federal investigators executed search warrants against New Jersey businessman Wael Hana, who runs the only company authorized to certify meat exports to Egypt as halal and is a partner with Arslanian. .

“Any accusations about cars, apartments, cash and jewelry being provided by anyone associated with ISEG Halal to Senator Menendez or his wife, let alone in exchange for any kind of favorable treatment, are completely without foundation,” a spokeswoman for Hanna. she told the outlet.

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“As previously stated, the senator remains confident that this matter will be successfully resolved,” Jennifer Morrill, a spokeswoman for Menendez, told The Post on Friday.

US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and his wife Nadine Arslanian arrive at a reception honoring Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his wife Mareva Mitsotakis in the East Room of the White House on May 16, 2022 in Washington.  DC.It is unclear what possible charges could be brought against the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee or whether his wife, Nadine Arslanian, 56, has been implicated in the government investigation.Getty Images

The current Justice Department investigation is separate from a 2015 investigation that resulted in bribery and corruption charges against the Garden State senator and ended in a mistrial two years later with a deadlock.

In the 2015 case, prosecutors alleged that Menendez, who has served in the Senate since 2006, accepted nearly $1 million in private jet flights, vacations and other gifts from Florida eye doctor Dr. Salomón Melgen in exchange for acquiring visas. for the doctor’s foreign girlfriends. .

Investigators also alleged that Menendez received large political donations in exchange for helping Melgen win lucrative government contracts.

Menendez was also previously investigated for corruption by then-New Jersey US Attorney Chris Christie in 2006 over allegations that a nonprofit group rented space from him while he helped it obtain grants. No charges were filed in that case and the investigation was closed in 2011.

The Post reported Thursday that Menendez’s wife cashed up to $400,000 in gold bullion between April 7, 2022, and June 16, 2022, months before her office publicly acknowledged the current federal investigation, and that Senator has established a legal defense fund. to help pay his lawyers.

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Source: vtt.edu.vn

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