Sen. Bob Menendez Facing New Obstruction of Justice Charges

Matthew Dellinger
Matthew Dellinger
Matthew Dellinger holds a Political Science and History BS and is working towards a Masters in Public Administration. Before his time at Atlas he joined GoodPolitical to serve as a writer and contributor while also expanding his knowledge on global events. Matthew is proud to be a part of a news organization that believes in delivering truthful, unfiltered, and unbiased news to people around the world.

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What Happened:

Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and his wife are facing new charges for obstruction of justice. The charges were announced on Tuesday in a superseding indictment filed by federal prosecutors. The charges were filed because the senator and his wife allegedly attempted to cover up the bribe payments the senator is on trial for.

The two glaring items in question are the mortgage payment for a house and a payment for a Mercedes-Benz that Senator Menendez instructed his attorney to tell prosecutors were purchased when prosecutors were already aware the payments were bribes. The new accusations were brought on when a guilty-plea from a co-defendant announced that he offered the Mercedes-Benz as an exchange for Senator Menendez’s assistance.

The Details:

Senator Menendez has been under investigation since 2022, with members from both parties urging him to step down when news broke of his alleged acceptance of bribes from foreign governments in exchange for information. The charges involved Senator Menendez, his wife, and others who had given him the alleged bribes. The bribes include gold bars, lumps of cash, luxury watches, and other items in exchange for information for the governments of Egypt and Qatar.

Senator Menendez sat as the chairman of the US Senate foreign relations committee until he stepped down in September 2023 “until the matter is resolved.”. This would be the second time he stepped down, as he had previously stepped down in 2015 after being indicted in New Jersey for accepting bribes from a Florida eye doctor.

He is still a sitting senator, despite urges from his colleagues to resign. He has maintained the “not guilty” plea throughout the proceedings. His wife has refused to comment on the proceedings. Investigators did recover gold bars and envelopes filled with cash inside of the senator’s apartment.

What’s Next:

Prosecutors are still working through the details of the case. The trial is scheduled for May, but the new charges may make it more difficult for Senator Menendez to get out of it. He has stated that “I am innocent and will prove it no matter how many charges they continue to pile on.”.

One of the businessmen who allegedly provided bribes to Senator Menendez, named Jose Uribe, pleaded guilty and admitted that they provided the senator and his wife with a Mercedes-Benz. The others have maintained a “not-guilty” plea at the time of writing.

If Senator Menendez resigns, New Jersey law allows for the Governor to appoint a temporary replacement, but this would likely cause some issues for Democrat’s between resignation and time of appointment as they lose one seat until the appointment is made.