Sen. Menendez Hit With New Charges

Prosecutors accuse Democrat, wife of conspiring to obstruct justice
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 5, 2024 8:13 PM CST
Sen. Menendez Hit With New Charges
Sen. Bob Menendez listens during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing last year.   (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib, File)

New obstruction of justice crimes were added Tuesday to charges against Sen. Bob Menendez and his wife that allege they accepted gold bars, cash, and a luxury car in return for favors the senator carried out to assist three businessmen. The charges were in a rewritten indictment returned against the Democrat in Manhattan federal court. Conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice charges were added against Menendez and his wife, Nadine, the AP reports.

  • In a statement, the senator called the additions "a flagrant abuse of power" and claimed prosecutors were "trying to get me to give in simply by making wild allegations again and again, without actually proving anything."

  • An indictment already alleges that the couple conspired with three businessmen to accept the bribes in return for the senator's help with their projects. Both have pleaded not guilty, along with two of the businessmen. A May trial has been scheduled. One businessman pleaded guilty to charges last week and agreed to testify at trial against the others.
  • The new charges allege that the couple was trying to obstruct justice in the weeks before they were charged last September with a variety of crimes. Among new allegations, prosecutors say Menendez caused his then-attorney to meet with prosecutors last June and September to say that the senator had been unaware until 2022 of a $23,000 mortgage payment one businessman made on Nadine Menendez's New Jersey home to avoid foreclosure or the money another defendant paid toward a Mercedes-Benz convertible.
  • Prosecutors said Bob and Nadine Menendez both sought to return some of the bribe money once they knew an investigation was underway. In particular, they noted, Bob Menendez in December 2022 wrote his wife a check for $23,569—the amount of the mortgage payment she had received—with a handwritten memo: "To Liquidate loan."
  • The charges were added to the indictment just a day after Judge Sidney H. Stein rejected Menendez's claims that search warrants that led to the discovery of gold bars and cash at his New Jersey home were unconstitutional.
(More Bob Menendez stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.