New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez Could Be Criminally Charged In Coming Weeks

New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez could be slapped with federal charges in the coming weeks, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

Lawyers for the senator are expected to meeting with federal prosecutors in the coming days. Such meetings often precede a decision over whether to charge an individual with crimes.

Menendez has long been embroiled in a probe investigating corruption allegations. The precise nature of the potential charges that could be brought against the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman remains unclear. Also unknown is whether his wife, Nadine Arslanian has been implicated in the governmental probe.

The ongoing scrutiny, being led by prosecutors from the Southern District of New York, has its roots dating back to at least 2019, delves into allegations of undisclosed gifts, including a vehicle and a Washington residence, that were allegedly given to Menendez in exchange for political favors. At the core of the inquiry is New Jersey businessman Wael Hana, linked to Arslanian and proprietor of the sole company authorized to certify halal meat exports to Egypt. Hana’s spokesperson vehemently denies any allegations of impropriety.

The ongoing investigation is separate from a 2015 inquiry that culminated in bribery and corruption charges against Sen. Menendez. That case ended in a mistrial two years later due to a deadlock among the jurors.

In the earlier 2015 trial, prosecutors alleged that Menendez, who was first elected to the Senate in 2006, accepted nearly $1 million in private jet travels, opulent getaways, and assorted gifts from Dr. Salomon Melgen, an ophthalmologist from Florida. Allegedly, these gifts were exchanged for Menendez’s efforts in facilitating visas for Melgen’s overseas companions. Furthermore, investigators alleged that large political donations were solicited in exchange for aiding Melgen in securing lucrative government contracts.

Menendez had also been the subject of a corruption inquiry by then-New Jersey US Attorney Chris Christie in 2006. The allegations centered on Menendez’s purported association with a nonprofit organization, which reportedly leased premises from him while he played a role in procuring grant funds for the same entity. However, the 2006 investigation concluded without any charges brought against the senator and was officially closed in 2011.

More attention has been given to Menendez’s wife recently, who reportedly liquidated gold bars valued at up to $400,000 between April 7 and June 16 in 2022. Interestingly, this financial move occurred several months before Menendez’s office publicly acknowledged the ongoing federal investigation.

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