Senator Menendez pleads not guilty to charge that he acted as a foreign agent to Egypt


U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) pleaded not guilty to a charge in a superseding indictment that accuses him of acting as a foreign agent to Egypt.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Menendez again appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Sidney H. Stein in Manhattan late this afternoon to plead not guilty to one of conspiracy for a public official to act as an agent of a foreign principal.

In a statement, New Jersey’s senior senator once again proclaimed his innocence.

“The government’s latest charge 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 El-Sisi on these issues. Anyone who knows my record, knows this latest charge is as outrageous as it is absurd,” he said.

“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. The facts haven’t changed. The government is engaged in primitive hunting, by which the predator chases its prey until it’s exhausted and then kills it. This tactic won’t work. I will not litigate this case through the press, but have made it abundantly clear that I have done nothing wrong and once all the facts are presented will be found innocent.”

“Among other actions, Menendez provided sensitive U.S. Government information and took other steps that secretly aided the Government of Egypt,” federal prosecutors charge.

“Menendez also improperly advised and pressured an official at the United States Department of Agriculture for the purpose of protecting a business monopoly granted to [Wael] Hana by Egypt and used in part to fund the bribes being paid to Menendez through Nadine Menendez.”

The new charges also allege that Egyptian officials contacted Hana, who owns IS EG Halal in Edgewater, and Nadine Menendez to communicate sensitive information to Menendez.

The initial indictment from September 22nd says Menendez, his wife Nadine, Hana, Jose Uribe, and Fred Dabies were involved in a corrupt bribery scheme that allowed the senator to use his influence for their gain in various different ways.

For example, he allegedly used his power and influence to benefit the Egyptian government and Hana, providing sensitive government information to aid the government of Egypt and also pressuring officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture to protect a business monopoly for Hana, who has an exclusive USDA contract to provide halal meat to Egypt.

Overall, the original indictment charges that the Menendezes accepted corrupt payments for their mortgage, a 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300, $486,471 in cash, another $79,760 from the safe deposit box, two one-kilogram gold bars, and 11 one-ounce gold bars.

All five defendants have pleaded not guilty in Manhattan federal court (the indictments come from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York) and a trial date has been set about one money before the 2024 primary, but that date it’s extremely unlikely to hold.

Menendez stepped down as the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee following last month’s federal charges, but has been steadfast that he has no plans to resign as senator, despite numerous Democratic leaders in New Jersey and Washington, D.C. asking him to.

In Hudson County, the local Democratic party has declined to ask their former chair, and also an ex-Union City mayor, to leave office, but a handful of electeds have bucked that trend.

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, a longtime political adversary of Menendez, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, who may run against U.S. Rep. Rob Menendez (D-8) next year, 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, 5th Ward Councilman Phil Cohen, and Jersey City Ward E Councilman James Solomon have all asked the senator to vacate his post.

Additionally, on October 13th, the day the superseding indictment was unsealed, Fulop called for Menendez to be expelled from the Senate, though there seems to be little movement on that front thus far.

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  1. Ravi Bhalla’s best friend is Gurbir Grewal. Gurbir was the NJ Attorney General in 2017 when racist fliers were distributed throughout Edison and Hoboken. Edison has sworn testimony, fingerprints, and credit card receipts from the US Postal Inspectors office but Gurbir turned a blind eye to these felonies. Ravi was elected by just a few hundred “victim virtue” votes and now is once again resorting to a victim claiming to have received death threats in a case that will – surprise, surprise – never be solved. If there were any threats, Ravi sent them to himself and minimally should be hospitalized on suicide watch.

    For his part in helping his buddy, Grewal was given a job in DC by Bob Menendez. This is currently being investigated by a NJ state Senator but you won’t hear about that here. But once Bob goes, so too will Gurbir and Bhalla.

    We need to root out this cancer of corruption in the Democratic Party once and for all!

  2. This guy is a crook. Stop voting democrat people!!! They are driving this country into the ground. MAGA is the way to go. Life was definitely better under Trump. I personally don’t like politics, never did. But, these past few years really opened my eyes. Never will I Vote democrat again. And you shouldn’t either. Be careful who you vote for. MAGA