The Federal Prosecutor’s Office announced this on Friday Corruption allegations against Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and his wife, alleging that they accepted bribes in exchange for favors that the senator distributed using the power of his office.
The 39-page indictment lays out various alleged schemes by Menendez, his wife Nadine Menendez and three New Jersey businessmen that led to investigators discovering stacks of cash and gold bars in the senator’s home.
In a defiant one opinionMenendez suggested there was some kind of conspiracy against him, saying, “Those behind this campaign simply cannot accept that a first-generation Latino American from humble beginnings could rise to become a U.S. senator and serve with honor and distinction could.”
Menendez now faces years in prison, not to mention the possible end of his political career. Here are five of the most shocking details from the indictment.
Wads of cash
During a search of Menendez’s home in June 2022, authorities said they found nearly half a million dollars in cash, “much of it stuffed into envelopes and hidden in clothing, closets and a safe.”
Among the items of clothing that were supposedly used to hide the money? A dark blue jacket with the senator’s name on it and a black jacket with the words SENATOR MENENDEZ written on it. The indictment includes photos of the clothing items where the cash was removed from the envelopes and placed on top.
In addition to all the dollars, investigators say they discovered furniture, a Mercedes convertible parked in the garage and gold bars worth more than $100,000 that were allegedly given to Menendez and his wife by their business partners. One of those associates was an Egyptian-American who allegedly passed confidential information from Menendez to the Egyptian government.
A letter written by ghostwriters
Prosecutors say Menendez’s now-wife Nadine, then his girlfriend, told the senator in 2018 that Egyptian officials needed help drafting a letter urging other senators to support U.S. aid to Egypt. In response, the indictment says, the senator “secretly edited and ghost-wrote the requested letter on behalf of Egypt to persuade other U.S. senators to release the provision for $300 million in aid to Egypt.” Bob and Nadine Menendez got married in 2020.
A golden Google search
Bob Menendez allegedly intervened in a federal criminal investigation into Fred Daibes, a New Jersey developer He is reported to have ties to organized crime, including by recommending that President Joe Biden appoint a more sympathetic prosecutor. In return, according to the indictment, Daibes provided cash and gold.
The day after he was driven home from the airport by a driver who worked for Daibes in October 2021, Menendez allegedly “conducted a web search for ‘how much is a kilo of gold worth'” and later searched for “kilo gold price” . The senator apparently did not delete his browser history; His wife eventually sold the gold bars to a jeweler, authorities said.
Daibes pleaded guilty for participating in an insider loan fraud last year.
Menendez had Only Dodged unrelated corruption allegations
One of the most notable things about the indictment is that it details alleged criminal conduct by Menendez beginning in March 2018, less than six months after an earlier, unrelated federal corruption investigation against Menendez ended in a mistrial due to a hung jury.
If convicted, Menendez faces years in prison for conspiracy to commit bribery, extortion and honest services fraud.