We Now Have More Details on Skeezy Bob Menendez’s Bribery Scheme

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Senator Robert Menendez must be running out of options. In court papers filed late Monday, federal prosecutors alleged that both the New Jersey lawmaker and his wife, Nadine Menendez, told a “false cover story” about the origin of gold bars that prosecutors allege were the result of bribes from foreign agents.

Per Nadine’s alibi to a jeweler, the couple obtained the gold bars from “her deceased mother.” A Menendez staffer reported that the senator himself also tried to claim that “the gold had come from Nadine Menendez’s deceased mother,” according to prosecutors.

Still, that somehow seems unlikely, considering that the gold bars were stamped with the name “Menendez” and since four of the gold bars had matching serial numbers to four gold bars reportedly owned by one of the senator’s alleged bribers, New Jersey real estate tycoon Fred Daibes.

Prosecutors revealed other new details in Menendez’s alleged bribery scheme in their recent court filing as well. Nadine Menendez’s diamond engagement ring was part of a $150,000 bribe. Cash in the couple’s home was found stuffed in boots, jackets, and in bags hanging on clothes hangers. And the New Jersey congressman regularly made phone calls on Nadine’s alternate cell phone, “a phone Menendez and Nadine Menendez referred to as her ‘007’ phone, an apparent reference to the fictional character James Bond,” prosecutors wrote.

The New Jersey Democrat and his wife stand accused of acting as a foreign agent for Egypt, taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, gold bars, and other flashy gifts in exchange for Menendez’s “power and influence to protect and enrich” the businessmen and government of Egypt. In a superseding indictment filed in January, Menendez was also accused on other corruption-related charges, allegedly taking bribes from Qatar in an attempt to help Daibes secure a multimillion-dollar investment from an investment company tied to the Middle Eastern country, collecting lavish gifts in exchange for his handiwork. Menendez, his wife, and Daibes have all pleaded not guilty to all charges.

“The problem is, is that there is no evidence of the giving or receiving of cash and gold bars. In fact there has been, and will be at trial, a full explanation of what is the truth about those issues. A truth that proves I am entirely innocent of the charges,” Menendez said on January 9.

Meanwhile, Menendez has not only refused calls for his resignation, but he is still seeking another term this November, despite polling suggesting that 70 percent of New Jersey residents want him out.” He was, however, forced to resign as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee under Senate Democrats’ bylaws, which forbid members from serving in leadership roles if they’re charged with felonies.

It’s the latest in a seeming history of corruption charges for Menendez. In 2017, another corruption case involving the senator and a wealthy eye doctor convicted of Medicare fraud ended in a mistrial after jurors failed to reach a verdict on whether Menendez had traded political favors in exchange for trips on a private jet and lavish vacations.