Friday, September 22, 2023

Big Bob's Bribery Blowout

A federal grand jury in New York has returned a sweeping indictment against United States Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., chairman of the powerful Foreign Relations Committee.

The investigation focused on a luxury car, gold bars and an apartment allegedly received by Menendez and his wife, Nadine Arslanian. His wife was also indicted.

The indictment charges Menendez, 69, and his wife with having a corrupt relationship with three New Jersey businessmen -- Wael Hana, Jose Uribe and Fred Daides.

The indictment accuses Menendez and his wife of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes in exchange for using the senator's power and influence to seek to protect and enrich the businessman.

"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.

In June 2022, federal agents searched Menendez's New Jersey home and found "fruits" of the pair's "corrupt bribery agreement" with the three businessmen, according to the indictment. Investigators found over $480,000 in cash, some stuffed in envelopes and hidden in clothing, as well as $70,000 in Nadine Menendez's safe deposit box.

Also found in the home were over $100,000 worth of gold bars, "provided by either Hana or Daibes," according to the indictment.

Menendez allegedly gave sensitive U.S. government information "that secretly aided the Government of Egypt" and "improperly advised and pressured" a U.S. agricultural official to protect an exclusive contract for Hana to be the exclusive purveyor of halal meat to Egypt, according to the indictment.
Yeah, all this is gross, comical, even cartoonish levels of corruption. Gold bars? C'mon.
It's New Jersey, but, damn.
Get his resignation by the end of the year, and Gov. Phil Murphy appoints someone who promises not to run in 2024 and leaves an open primary is the fairest way to do it.

Either way, Menendez has to go.

[UPDATE] Menendez has stepped down as Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairas Senate rules require a chair indicted under a felony to do so. Multiple Dems are calling on Menendez to resign, including Gov. Murphy and former Obama-era AG Eric Holder.

Not looking good for him to stay on through this.

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