Senator Bob Menendez pleads not guilty to latest obstruction of justice charges


U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) pleaded not guilty to his latest obstruction of justice charges during a short appearance in federal court in Manhattan this morning.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Once again, not guilty your honor,” Menendez told U.S. District Court Judge Sidney H. Stein after she asked him to enter a plea at a 20-minute hearing, as The Associated Press first reported.

He appeared in court with his wife Nadine after the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District unsealed the fourth indictment against New Jersey’s senior senator since September on Tuesday. He previously pleaded not guilty to the other changes.

“From at least in or about June 2022 through at least in or about June 2023, in the Southern District and elsewhere, Robert Menendez and Nadine Menendez … corruptly influenced, obstructed, and impeded, and endeavored to influence, obstruct, and impede, the due administration of justice,” federal prosecutors charge.

” … [The Menendezes] wrote checks and letters falsely characterizing the return of bribe money to Wael Hana, the defendant, and Jose Uribe, as repayment for loans, and caused their counsel to make statements regarding the bribe money from Hana and Uribe, and regarding Menendez’s awareness of this bribe money …”

The indictment continues that the Menendezes knew these statements were false and they had their attorneys make them in an effort to impede the investigation.

He remained defiant in a subsequent statement, indicating that the latest charges again only highlight overzealous prosecutors and essentially vowed to go to trial.

While all defendants in the case, where the Menendezes are accused of accepting cash, a new Mercedes-Convertible, and gold bars as bribes, pleaded not guilty in September, Jose Uribe struck a deal last Friday where he admitted wrongdoing and agreed to testify against the senator.

This is the third superseding indictment in the case, with U.S. Attorney’s Office previously alleging he acted as a foreign agent to Egypt and that he pushed for a development deal with the Qatar government for co-defendant Fred Daibes.

Senator Menendez has filed two motions to dismiss, along with a motion to suppress evidence thus far, to no avail.

He is set to go to trial on May 6th, about a month before the June 4th primary, though his legal woes are expected to prevent him from seeking re-election, as the New York Post reported on Thursday.

Instead, the primary currently has First Lady Tammy Murphy and U.S. Rep. Any Kim (D-3) competing for the Senate seat, with Dr. Patricia Campos-Medina and Larry Hamm expected to file as well.

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