U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey has now been charged with conspiring for years to act as an agent of the Egyptian government while he held a powerful role in shaping U.S. foreign policy, putting the Democrat in deeper legal trouble as he continues to reject calls to resign, reported The Associated Press.
The superseding indictment in Manhattan federal court accuses Menendez of violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires people to register with the U.S. government if they act as “an agent of a foreign principal.” As a member of Congress, Menendez was prohibited from being an agent of a foreign government.
The new charge comes weeks after Menendez and his wife were accused of accepting bribes of cash, gold bars and a luxury car from three New Jersey businessmen who wanted the senator’s help and influence over foreign affairs.
The new indictment says a conspiracy occurred from January 2018 to June 2022, alleging that Menendez “promised to take and took a series of acts on behalf of Egypt, including on behalf of Egyptian military and intelligence officials.” It said he conspired to do so with his wife, Nadine, and a business associate and fellow defendant, Wael Hana.
According to the indictment, Hana and Nadine Menendez also communicated requests and directives from Egyptian officials to Menendez.
Hours after the latest charge was revealed, Menendez issued a statement, saying it “flies in the face of my long record of standing up for human rights and democracy in Egypt and in challenging leaders of that country, including President (Fattah) El-Sisi on these issues.”
“I have been, throughout my life, loyal to only one country — the United States of America, the land my family chose to live in democracy and freedom,” he added. ”Piling new charge upon new charge does not make the allegations true. ... I again ask people who know me and my record to give me the chance to present my defense and show my innocence.”
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