NATIONAL NEWS

New indictment charges Sen. Menendez with being an unregistered agent of the Egyptian government

Oct 12, 2023, 10:40 AM

FILE - Sen. Bob Menendez and his wife, Nadine Menendez, leave federal court on Wednesday, Sept. 27,...

FILE - Sen. Bob Menendez and his wife, Nadine Menendez, leave federal court on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in New York. Federal prosecutors in New York City have rewritten their indictment against U.S. Sen Bob Menendez of New Jersey and his wife to charge them with conspiring to have him act as an agent of Egypt and Egyptian officials. The superseding indictment was filed in Manhattan federal court on Thursday, Oct. 12. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal prosecutors in New York City have rewritten their indictment against U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and his wife to charge them with conspiring to have him act as an agent of Egypt and Egyptian officials.

The superseding indictment, filed in Manhattan federal court on Thursday, accuses Menendez of violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires people to register with the U.S. government if they are acting as “an agent of a foreign principal.” As a member of Congress, Menendez was prohibited from being an agent of a foreign government, even if he did register as one.

The indictment says the conspiracy occurred from January 2018 to June 2022.

Messages left with Menendez’s Senate staff and attorney were not immediately answered.

The new charge comes just weeks after the Democrat 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 to help and influence over foreign affairs. The couple have pleaded not guilty.

The indictments said that while Menendez was chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he took several steps to secretly aid Egyptian officials. That included ghostwriting a letter to fellow senators encouraging them to lift a hold on $300 million in aid to Egypt.

He was also accused of passing along information about employees at the U.S. Embassy in Egypt and transmitting nonpublic information to Egyptian officials about military aid.

Menendez, 69, has insisted that he did nothing unusual to assist Egypt and that prosecutors had misunderstood the work of a senator involved in foreign affairs. Authorities who searched Menendez’s home last year said they found more than $100,000 worth of gold bars and over $480,000 in cash — much of it hidden in closets, clothing and a safe.

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New indictment charges Sen. Menendez with being an unregistered agent of the Egyptian government