Federal prosecutors issued new charges against Senator Bob Menendez today, accusing him and his wife of failing to register as foreign agents, and the senator of acting as a foreign agent. Public officials are prohibited from acting as foreign agents. This new indictment comes on the heels of bribery corruption charges issued against Menendez a few weeks ago.

As previously reported here on FAA News, weeks ago, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) was indicted with participating in a years-long bribery scheme.

The unsealed Indictment includes allegations that he and his wife accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes from the three businessmen in exchange for his agreement to use his official position to protect and enrich them and to benefit the Government of Egypt.

Among other things, he agreed and sought to pressure a senior official at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in an effort to protect a business monopoly granted to Hana by Egypt, disrupt a criminal case undertaken by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office related to associates of Uribe, and disrupt a federal criminal prosecution brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey against Daibes.

The Indictment charges Senator Menendez with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; and one count of conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Today, a federal grand jury in Manhattan filed a superseding indictment charging Menendez with accepting bribes on behalf of a foreign government and conspiring to act as a foreign agent.

The superseding indictment alleges Menendez, New Jersey's senior senator, “provided sensitive U.S. Government information and took other steps that secretly aided the Government of Egypt.”

Specifically, the superseding indictment released Oct. 12 charges Menendez and others with, “From at least in or about January 2018 through at least in or about June 2022, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, ROBERT MENENDEZ, NADINE MENENDEZ, a/k/a “Nadine Arslanian,” and WAEL HANA, a/k/a “Will Hana,” the defendants, and others known and unknown, willfully and knowingly combined,  conspired, confederated, and agreed together and with each other to have a public official, to wit, ROBERT MENENDEZ, act as an agent of a foreign principal, to wit, the Government of Egypt and Egyptian officials.”

The superseding indictment alleges that Sen. Robert Menendez’s wife Nadine Menendez and New Jersey businessman Wael Hana “worked to introduce Egyptian intelligence and military officials to Menendez for the purpose of establishing and solidifying a corrupt agreement in which Hana, with assistance from Fred Daibes and Jose Uribe, the defendants, provided hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes to Menendez and Nadine Menendez, in exchange for Menendez’s acts and breaches of duty to benefit the Government of Egypt, Hana, and others, including with respect to foreign military sales and foreign military financing.”

Ironically, Sen. Menendez once asked U.S. Department of Justice officials to investigate a former Republican lawmakers for working for Venezuela’s Maduro regime in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, the superseding indictment notes.

Menendez wrote a letter in May 2020 to a Department of Justice official saying “the Act is clear that acting directly or indirectly in any capacity on behalf of a foreign principal triggers the requirement to register” under the law.

While additional details about Menendez’s alleged conduct on behalf of the government of Egypt are included in Thursday's filing, prosecutors do not allege that Menendez or his wife accepted any additional cash or gifts that weren’t already included in previous charges.

Menendez appears to be the first United States senator accused of conspiring to act as a foreign agent.

Menendez served as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee until stepping down in September amid federal bribery charges. However, he does remain in office.

Sen. Bob Menendez responded to latest charges, "piling new charge upon new charge does not make the allegations true. The facts haven’t changed, only a new charge. It is an attempt to wear someone down and I will not succumb to this tactic. I again ask people who know me and my record to give me the chance to present my defense and show my innocence.”

New Jersey Senate Republican leader Anthony M. Bucco stated, "the allegations centered around Senator Menendez‘s actions get more bizarre with each passing day as additional allegations unfold in this matter. In light of these new charges, members of both sides of the aisle should demand that he immediately step down as a United States Senator. Anyone who is accused of a crime has a presumption of innocence, but his alleged conduct is very troubling and certainly unbecoming of a public servant. It is now perfectly clear that his ability to perform his duties as a United States Senator has been compromised. The residents of the State deserve better.

More than half of the state’s House delegation, including Menendez's fellow senator Cory Booker, and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy have called on Menendez to resign. He has said he will stay in office and fight the charges.

Democratic Representative Andy Kim, a sitting member of Congress, has also called on Menendez to resign, and has even launched a campaign to replace him.

Curiously, Rabbi Avi Schnall, a Lakewood activist and long-time friend of Senator Menendez, continues to remain on the outside, and has not joined the unified call for the senator to resign.

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