Democrat’s Corruption Trial Starts Today

( – For abusing his position as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, veteran Democratic Senator Bob Menendez from New Jersey is scheduled to begin his federal trial on bribery and obstruction charges today.

Alongside Menendez, two New Jersey businessmen accused of offering extravagant bribes in exchange for Menendez’s influence will also stand trial.

A third businessman has already pleaded guilty, and Menendez’s wife, Nadine, will face trial at a later date.

This trial will unfold near the Manhattan courthouse where former President Donald Trump is being tried under separate charges related to the 2016 election.

In September, federal prosecutors charged Menendez and his wife with accepting “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in bribes, which allegedly included cash, gold, home mortgage payments and a Mercedes-Benz convertible, in return for political favors that benefited the businessmen and Egypt.

During a search of the Menendez home in June 2022, agents reported finding over $480,000 in cash hidden throughout the house and more than $100,000 in gold bars.

The allegations against the senator have escalated over time. In October 2023, Menendez, his wife and businessman Wael Hana were accused of acting as foreign agents for Egypt.

Charges in January further claimed that Menendez accepted gifts from Qatar and assisted another businessman in securing investment funds from the same country.

By March, the charges evolved from conspiracy ones to directly accuse Menendez of bribery, extortion and acting as a foreign agent.

After businessman Jose Uribe pleaded guilty, new charges included a cover-up conspiracy related to the bribery scheme.

Additional accusations came up after Menendez and his wife misrepresented their knowledge about the convertible and a significant mortgage payment Hana made toward Nadine’s home.

Despite the array of charges, Menendez has doubled down on his assertions that he is innocent.

“I am hopeful that my exoneration will take place this summer and allow me to pursue my candidacy as an independent Democrat in the general election,” Menendez stated in March.

Menendez has been in a similar legal situation before: he faced federal corruption charges in 2015, which were dismissed in 2018 after a jury deadlock.

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