Menendez: That Was My Own Cash I Stashed in My Home

Senator predicts he will be exonerated on bribery charges
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2023 12:00 PM CDT
Menendez Says He's Not Going Anywhere
Damian Williams, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, talks about a display of photos of evidence in an indictment against Sen. Bob Menendez, during a news conference, Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, in New York.   (AP Photo/Robert Bumsted)

Sen. Bob Menendez says he's not stepping down from the Senate after being indicted on bribery charges—and he's got an explanation for the cash investigators say they found stashed around his home. The New Jersey Democrat said Monday that the money found in clothes and closets was his from his own savings accounts, the Guardian reports. He said that over the last 30 years, he has withdrawn thousands of dollars of legitimately earned income from his accounts, "which I have kept for emergencies and because of the history of my family facing confiscation in Cuba."

Menendez, who was born in the US a few months after his parents left Cuba, didn't comment on the gold bars also mentioned in the indictment. Investigators say they found $480,000 in cash in Menendez's home and another $70,000 in his wife's safety deposit box. Menendez and his wife are accused of taking bribes in exchange for political favors to the government of Egypt and business associates in New Jersey, the New York Times reports. The senator said Monday that he is facing his "biggest fight yet," but predicted that "not only will I be exonerated, I will still be New Jersey's senior senator."

Menendez is facing calls to resign from Democratic leaders in New Jersey and some of his colleagues in the Senate, though other senators have stopped short of saying he should step down. Sen. John Fetterman, one of those calling for resignation, didn't seem to buy Menendez's claim that he had $480,000 stashed in his home for emergencies. "We have an extra flashlight for our home emergencies," Fetterman said in a post on X. (More Bob Menendez stories.)

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