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    Bob Menendez Scores Corruption Indictment Hat Trick

    By Nikki McCann Ramirez,


    If you thought the allegations of corruption against New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez couldn’t go any deeper, you clearly aren’t accustomed to hiding gold bars in your sock drawer. On Tuesday, New York prosecutors leveled another superseding indictment against the Democratic senator, bringing up the total of indictments against Menendez to three in the state’s ongoing corruption and bribery investigation into the lawmaker, his wife, and several business associates.

    In September, Menendez was charged with conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, and conspiracy to commit extortion. Prosecutors alleged that Menendez and his wife, Nadine, had “agreed to and did accept hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes in exchange for using Menendez’s power and influence as a Senator to seek to protect and enrich,” three businessmen: Wael Hana, Jose Uribe, and Fred Daibes. The charges included allegations that Menendez had abused his post to unlawfully aid the government of Egypt, and showed that investigators had found envelopes of cash and even solid bars of gold stashed throughout the senator’s home.

    Things were already looking grim, but in October, prosecutors leveled additional charges accusing Menendez of having “provided sensitive U.S. Government information and took other steps that secretly aided the Government of Egypt,” and acting as a foreign agent. On Friday, Uribe pleaded guilty to seven counts — including conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, and honest services wire fraud — and entered a cooperation agreement with prosecutors.

    Now, authorities have leveled a third indictment against the senator, alleging that he used his elected office to unlawfully benefit the government of Qatar.

    Despite calls from dozens of Democrats for his resignation, Menendez has refused to vacate his seat, only going so far as to voluntarily step down from his position as Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee.

    But while Menendez seems determined to keep a grip on his Senate office, Democrats in his home state are gearing up to force him out via vote. The state is now the site of a hotly contested race to replace Menendez should he resign or be forced out before election day.

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