Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey is facing corruption-related charges for the second time in a decade. A decade ago, he successfully defended himself against accusations of conspiracy, bribery, and honest services fraud brought forth by the Justice Department, which were linked to allegations of personal favors.
Next year, Menendez will be seeking reelection, having served in the Senate since 2006. These recent allegations are much more serious than past ones, though, and it leaves NJ Democrats with an important decision to make: Do they back him up as he has been a powerful arm of the New Jersey Democratic party, or do they throw him to the curb and allow a new face to take what is a lay-up of a senate seat?
The Charges Against Senator Bob Menendez
According to a recently unveiled federal indictment, Menendez and his wife, Nadine Arslanian Menendez, are accused of receiving a substantial amount of money in the form of bribes. The money was sent in exchange for the senator’s political influence. Prosecutors claim that these bribes encompassed items such as gold bars, cash, covering home mortgage expenses and a luxury car.
Federal agents reported locating numerous items during their execution of search warrants at the couple’s residence in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, in June 2022. Among their discoveries were over $480,000 in cash, with a substantial portion hidden in envelopes and stuffed into clothing, closets, and a secure storage space. This included jackets brandishing the senator’s name hanging in his closet. Talk about irony. Additionally, the indictment states that Nadine Menendez had more than $70,000—in cash—in her safe deposit box.
Many Democrats have been fed up with Menendez’ record for several years now. In 2021, when Menendez voted against allowing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies on the price of drugs covered by Medicare Part D, many NJ Democrats felt betrayed. In fact, Senator Cory Booker voted for the measure. So, why was Menendez, who is in the same party, voting against it?
Senator Menendez and his wife have stated that these allegations are false and defamatory. “The excesses of these prosecutors is apparent,” stated the senator, “they have misrepresented the normal work of a Congressional office. On top of that, not content with making false claims against me, they have attacked my wife for the long standing friendships she had before she and I even met.”
Menendez, his spouse, and the three New Jersey businessmen who have been indicted alongside them are scheduled to make an appearance in federal court at 10:30 a.m. on September 27 as stated by the US attorney’s office.
They face charges of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and conspiracy to commit bribery. If convicted of both charges, each conspirator could face up to 25 years in prison.
About the Author/s
Peter Candia is the Food + Drink Editor at New Jersey Digest. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Peter found a passion for writing midway through school and never looked back. He is a former line cook, server and bartender at top-rated restaurants in the tri-state area. In addition to food, Peter enjoys politics, music, sports and anything New Jersey.