Scandal-plagued Menendez claims ‘persecution’ by Justice Division after troubling ties to Qatar emerge

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Scandal-plagued Menendez claims ‘persecution’ by Justice Division after troubling ties to Qatar emerge


An emotional Sen. Bob Menendez took to the ground of the higher chamber on Tuesday to denounce what he known as his “persecution” by the Justice Division following new bribery allegations tying him to a Qatar-based actual property funding agency linked to that nation’s royal household.

“The USA Legal professional’s Workplace has engaged not in a prosecution, however a persecution. They search a victory, however not justice,” Menendez (D-NJ) declared of his second superseding indictment within the Southern District of New York.

“By submitting three indictments — one in late September, a second one a couple of weeks later in mid-October and a 3rd one simply final week in early January — it permits the federal government to maintain the sensational story within the press, it poisons the jury pool and it seeks to convict me within the court docket of public opinion,” he added.

“In so doing, the federal government’s ways hurt not simply me, however every of you, my colleagues, the political institution, and most significantly the voters of New Jersey.”

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) took to the ground of the higher chamber on Tuesday to denounce his “persecution” by the Justice Division following new bribery allegations. C-SPAN

The Sept. 12 indictment catalogs the Democratic senator and his spouse’s alleged acceptance of bribes — together with 13 gold bars, greater than $566,000 in money and a Mercedes-Benz convertible — from three rich Backyard State businessmen.

On Oct. 12, subsequent costs alleged Menendez leveraged his place as chairman of the Senate Overseas Relations Committee to behave as an agent of the Egyptian authorities.

Prosecutors say Menendez obtained a few of that money and gold after introducing actual property developer Fred Daibes to a member of the Qatari ruling household in 2021, in order that Daibes might strike a take care of a Doha-linked agency, the Jan. 2 superseding indictment exhibits.

The indictment catalogs the Democratic senator and his spouse’s allegedly acceptance of bribes — together with 13 gold bars, greater than $566,000 in money and a Mercedes-Benz convertible. AP

Daibes and the opposite businessmen — Wael Hana and Jose Uribe — are named as co-defendants in every indictment, alongside Menendez’s spouse, Nadine. The senator has pleaded not responsible to all costs.

“There is no such thing as a proof of the giving or receiving of money and gold bars. In actual fact, there was and will likely be a trial, a full rationalization of what’s the reality about these points,” Menendez inaccurately acknowledged in his Senate ground speech.

“Nearly everybody, together with my associates within the press who’ve reported on it, haven’t learn the indictment,” he additionally wrongly claimed. “They’ve solely taken the federal government’s sensational narrative of what these accusations are as reality.”

“The USA Legal professional’s Workplace has engaged not in a prosecution, however a persecution. They search a victory, however not justice,” Mendendez declared of his second superseding indictment. REUTERS

The indictments have all been unsealed and are publicly accessible, whereas different reviews have confirmed that serial numbers on the gold bars the FBI took from Menendez’s dwelling in June 2022 match these from different bars beforehand stolen from Daibes’ Edgewater residence in 2013.

Envelopes containing wads of money seized at Menendez’s home have been additionally found to have Daibes’ driver’s fingerprints on them, in line with the primary unsealed indictment.

Menendez reps didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Menendez allegedly obtained some money and gold after introducing New Jersey actual property developer Fred Daibes, one of many businessmen, to a member of the Qatari royal household in 2021. AP

The 70-year-old in his speech additionally rejected costs of conspiring to behave as a overseas agent for the Egyptian authorities as one other “outrageous accusation,” claiming prosecutors have argued the actions of lawmakers who “entice funding and financial alternative to their states would now be a criminal offense.”

“It opens a harmful door for the Justice Division to take the traditional engagement of members of Congress with a overseas authorities and to rework these engagements right into a cost of being a overseas agent for that authorities,” he mentioned.

The New Jersey Democrat additional denied he was “on the take with Egypt” given his file of holding the Cairo authorities accountable for its human rights abuses and that his case exhibits “broad” costs might be filed in opposition to any authorities official beneath the Overseas Brokers Registration Act.

“There is no such thing as a proof of the giving or receiving of money and gold bars,” Menendez inaccurately acknowledged in his Senate ground speech. AP

“When members of the Senate from agricultural states went to Communist Cuba to promote rice or poultry or sugar or beef, and have been advised by the Castro regime that they might contemplate doing so however that the senators wanted to persuade the US administration to vary US regulation and elevate the embargo and allow credit score to happen for such gross sales — after which got here again to america and advocated for precisely that request — that makes them a overseas agent of Cuba,” he advised.

“I’m harmless, and I intend to show my innocence, not only for me, however for the precedent this case will set for you and future members of the Senate,” Menendez exclaimed, saying he would once more ignore requires his resignation which have even come from fellow Democrats like Sen. John Fetterman (Pa.).

“I’m struggling drastically on account of what they’ve completed,” he went on, choking up with emotion. “After 50 years of public service, this isn’t how I wished to have a good time my golden jubilee. However I’ve by no means violated the general public belief. I’ve been a patriot for my nation.”

If convicted on all costs, Menendez faces practically as a lot time in federal jail as he has served in public workplace.


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