U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) has been indicted on charges of acting as a ‘foreign agent’ according to the Associated Press, an escalation of previously reported charges. The Senator, who has served since 2006, entered a plea of not guilty amidst allegations of accepting bribes from three New Jersey businessmen.
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.
He’s accused of acting as an agent of the Egyptian 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.”
More than 30 Democrats want him to resign from the Senate, but he is planning to run again for his seat. He has one primary opponent so far, Andy Kim.