(TheRedWire.com) – The U.S. justice authorities have introduced additional charges against Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, asserting that he engaged in activities akin to representing Egypt’s interests while presiding over the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Senator Menendez, a member of the Democratic Party, and his wife, Nadine Arslanian, were initially charged with corruption. Menendez claimed to have received lavish gifts and substantial sums, including gold, money, and an extravagant car, in return for promoting the ambitions of three local entrepreneurs and the Egyptian state.
The recent legal documents state that Menendez, Arslanian, and a businessman from New Jersey, Wael Hana, intentionally collaborated to position Menendez as a representative for Egypt. Furthermore, the authorities claim Menendez clandestinely assisted the Egyptian government by disclosing confidential U.S. information.
Responding to the new accusations, Menendez told Newsweek that they contradict his history of advocating for human rights and democracy in Egypt and confronting its leadership, including President El-Sisi. He stressed his undivided allegiance to the U.S. and criticized the additional charges as an effort to undermine him, which he vowed to resist.
The latest legal accusations include details that Menendez committed to working for Egyptian authorities, military, and intelligence, facilitated by communication from Egyptian officials through his wife and Hana.
In a noteworthy instance from 2019, according to the authorities, the trio met in Washington, D.C., with an Egyptian intelligence representative to talk about an American’s rights who was harmed during an Egyptian airstrike four years prior. This case was significant in Congress, with some members skeptical about Egypt’s response to the incident and opposing further military support.
Communications after the meeting indicated a quid pro quo expectation from the Egyptian side, with Hana assuring action on requests. Another significant interaction in 2020 involved Hana facilitating discussions between Menendez and an Egyptian representative concerning the critical geopolitical issue of a Nile River dam construction by Ethiopia.
After these discussions, Menendez reportedly reached out to key U.S. departments, expressing apprehension over the ongoing standstill in the dam negotiations. The indictment outlines several such interactions, aided by Hana and Arslanian, extending into 2022.
Despite the charges from the initial and the superseding indictment, Menendez and his co-accused maintain their innocence. The senator has consistently repudiated the claims, resisting pressures from his party peers to step down, and has not disclosed any decision about a potential candidacy in the 2024 elections.
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