Businessman charged with bribing Sen. Bob Menendez and his wife pleads guilty

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A New Jersey businessman alleged to have given Sen. Bob Menendez's wife a Mercedes-Benz as part of a sweeping bribery scheme pleaded guilty Friday to federal charges.

Jose Uribe, a co-defendant of Menendez and his wife, agreed to cooperate as part of his plea and to "truthfully and completely disclose all information with respect to the activities of himself and others," according to court records.

Uribe pleaded guilty to seven counts including bribery, conspiracy and obstruction. He admitted to giving the luxury car to Nadine Menendez.

Prosecutors allege the New Jersey Democrat took gifts -- gold bars, wads of cash and luxury watches, among others -- in exchange for doing official favors for Uribe and the governments of Egypt and Qatar. He is the first sitting member of Congress to ever be charged with conspiracy for a public official to act as a foreign agent.

PHOTO: In this Oct. 23, 3023, file photo, Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, arrives at federal court in New York. (Bloomberg via Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: In this Oct. 23, 3023, file photo, Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, arrives at federal court in New York. (Bloomberg via Getty Images, FILE)

Menendez, his wife and the other defendants in the case have all pleaded not guilty. Trial is scheduled for May.

A majority of the senator's Democratic colleagues have previously called on him to resign.

Menendez said he will not step down and that the accusations are baseless and misleading and that the U.S. attorney's office "is engaged not in a prosecution, but a persecution."

Businessman charged with bribing Sen. Bob Menendez and his wife pleads guilty originally appeared on abcnews.go.com