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Jury Selection For New Jersey Democrat Senator Bob Menendez Corruption Trial Begins

  Jury selection began on Monday in the trial of Sen.   Bob Menendez   (D-NJ), who is accused of taking bribes to wield his influence to ben...

 Jury selection began on Monday in the trial of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who is accused of taking bribes to wield his influence to benefit foreign nations. 

Federal prosecutors have charged Menendez with 16 criminal counts, including conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right, a charge accusing him of conspiring to act as a foreign agent for Egypt, obstruction of justice, and other related corruption charges. The allegations include claims that Menendez was bribed with hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, gold bars, and a Mercedes-Benz. 

Menendez was the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when federal investigators say the bribery scheme took place. After he was first charged in September 2023, he stepped down as chair, though he is still on the committee. 

The trial, taking place in Manhattan, and expected to last weeks. Wael Hana and Fred Daibes, two New Jersey businessmen accused of being involved in the bribery scheme, are being tried with Menendez. A third alleged associate of Menendez, Jose Uribe, pled guilty in March to charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, honest services wire fraud, obstruction of justice, and tax evasion.

Mendendez’s wife, Nadine, will be tried in July over accusations that she was part of the bribery scheme. During his plea deal, Uribe said that Nandine was given a Mercedes-Benz with the expectation Menendez would use “his power and influence as a United States senator to get a favorable outcome and to stop all investigations related to one of my associates.”


According to federal prosecutors, the alleged bribes were intended to benefit Egypt and protect Hana, Daibes, and Uribe. 

“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. Federal authorities reportedly found gold bars and cash stuffed throughout the senator’s home that they traced back to the businessmen Menendez allegedly worked with. 

Menendez is also accused of ghostwriting a letter to other senators to urge them to support ending a hold on $300 million in military aid to Egypt, a letter reportedly written in coordination with his wife and the businessmen in question. Other charges say he attempted to use his influence to benefit Qatar. 

The New Jersey Democrat has pleaded not guilty to the charges and reportedly plans to blame Nadine. Menendez previously faced federal corruption charges in 2017, but the case ended in a mistrial.

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