Democratic Senator Bob Menendez pleaded not guilty this Wednesday to three charges for allegedly accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes, as well as using his influence to favor New Jersey businessmen and the Government of Egypt.
Menendez has pleaded not guilty along with three co-defendants, Jose Uribe, Fred Daibe and his wife, Nadine Menendez. A fifth person involved in the plot, Wael Hana, already went to court the day before to claim his innocence. The Manhattan court has set the Democrat’s bail at $100,000 (95,100 euros).
Federal agents found nearly $500,000 (475,800 euros) in cash at the senator’s home — including wads of cash in jackets — after a search as part of the investigations into the plot, according to CNN.
Hana and Nadine organized meetings with Menendez and Egyptian officials to facilitate the sale of military material, taking advantage of the Democrat’s position as president of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the United States Senate, although the senator resigned from the position over the weekend due to the scandal.
Menendez, 69, is also accused of accepting bribes, such as a luxury car or gold bars, in exchange for pressuring a New Jersey prosecutor who had an open investigation against two like-minded businessmen.
The Democratic senator resigned from the same position in 2015 after being accused in New Jersey of having accepted bribes from a Florida doctor, a case that led to a mistrial due to the lack of a unanimous verdict by the jury.