Feds indict Sen. Bob Menendez and wife on bribery charges

Sen. Bob Menendez at the announcement.

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez and his wife were charged Friday morning in a federal corruption indictment, according to an announcement from federal prosecutors.

The charges allege Menendez (D-N.J.) and his wife, Nadine Arslanian, along with New Jersey real estate developer Fred Daibes, and associates Wael Hana and Jose Uribe, enjoyed a “corrupt relationship” where they accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from at least 2018 up until about 2022.

The indictment details the feds have seized $100,000 worth of gold bars and more than $480,000 in cash, mostly stuffed into envelopes and hidden in clothing, closets and a safe at their home and bank.

Menendez and his wife are charged with three counts, including conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right.

Daibes, Hana and Uribe are charged with the first two of those counts.

Menendez denied the charges and issued the following statement:

“For years, forces behind the scenes have repeatedly attempted to silence my voice and dig my political grave. Since this investigation was leaked nearly a year ago, there has been an active smear campaign of anonymous sources and innuendos to create an air of impropriety where none exists.

“The excesses of these prosecutors is apparent. They have misrepresented the normal work of a Congressional office. On top of that, not content with making false claims against me, they have attacked my wife for the longstanding friendships she had before she and I even met.

“Those behind this campaign simply cannot accept that a first-generation Latino American from humble beginnings could rise to be a U.S. senator and serve with honor and distinction. Even worse, they see me as an obstacle in the way of their broader political goals.

“I have been falsely accused before, because I refused to back down to the powers that be and the people of New Jersey were able to see through the smoke and mirrors and recognize I was innocent. I have worked every day to repay their trust by fighting to create jobs, strengthen public safety, update infrastructure and reduce costs for New Jersey families. I have also stood steadfast against dictators around the globe — whether they be in Iran, Cuba, Turkey, or elsewhere — fighting against the forces of appeasement and standing with those who stand for freedom and democracy. I remain focused on continuing this important work and will not be distracted by baseless allegations.

“They wrote these charges as they wanted; the facts are not as presented. Prosecutors did that the last time, and look what a trial demonstrates. People should remember that before accepting the prosecutor’s version.

“To my supporters, friends and the community at large, I ask that you recall the other times the prosecutors got it wrong and that you reserve judgment. I am confident that this matter will be successfully resolved once all of the facts are presented and my fellow New Jerseyans will see this for what it is.”