Sat. Nov 25th, 2023
Bob Menendez steps down from the position of Chairman of Foreign Relations in the US Senate after being impeached

A veteran US senator has briefly resigned from his place as chairman of the Home’s highly effective Overseas Relations Committee as he faces bribery fees.

Justice Division prosecutors allege that Robert Menendez and his spouse accepted a whole bunch of 1000’s of {dollars} in alternate for help to the Egyptian authorities.

The couple denied these accusations.

The embattled senator rejected calls from his Democratic colleagues in his house state of New Jersey to resign from his seat.

Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer mentioned Friday that Menendez has determined to step down as chairman of the influential committee “till the matter is resolved.”

The New York Democrat mentioned his colleague was “a devoted public servant who at all times fights exhausting for the individuals of New Jersey.”

This isn’t the primary time Menendez, 69, who has served in Congress since 2006, has needed to step down from his prestigious place on the Overseas Relations Committee.

He additionally resigned in 2015 after he was charged in New Jersey with accepting bribes from an ophthalmologist in Florida. This case led to a mistrial after jurors had been unable to achieve a unanimous verdict.

Democrat Ben Cardin of Maryland, who served because the committee’s rating Democrat on the time, is anticipated to step again briefly to fill the emptiness.

Menendez and his spouse, Nadine Arslanian, face fees of accepting money and gold bribes and funds for a mortgage and a luxurious automobile from three New Jersey businessmen.

Prosecutors allege that the couple accepted cash to secretly assist the Egyptian authorities and enrich the three males: Wael Hanna, Jose Uribe, and Farid Daibes.

In keeping with the 39-page indictment unsealed on Friday, Mr. Menendez’s management place and energy as a senator enabled this affect.

They every face three legal fees: conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit sincere providers fraud, and conspiracy to commit extortion underneath official legislation.

In an announcement issued by her lawyer, Ms. Menendez denied any wrongdoing and mentioned she would defend herself in courtroom.

Menendez sought to painting these allegations as politically motivated.

“Over time, forces behind the scenes have repeatedly tried to silence my voice and dig my political grave,” he mentioned in a prolonged assertion.

“Since this investigation was leaked virtually a 12 months in the past, there was an energetic smear marketing campaign from nameless sources and insinuations to create an environment of wrongdoing the place none exists.”

“I’m assured that this matter might be efficiently resolved as soon as all of the info are offered and my colleagues in New Jersey will see this matter for what it’s,” he added.

However a wave of high Democrats, together with a minimum of 4 members of Congress from New Jersey, referred to as on the lawmaker to resign.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy mentioned in an announcement that the allegations are “so severe that they threaten Senator Menendez’s capacity to successfully signify the individuals of our state.”

“I subsequently demand his instant resignation,” he wrote.

Below New Jersey legislation, if Menendez resigns from the Senate, the governor will appoint a short lived substitute to serve out the remainder of his time period.

However any delay between resignation and momentary appointment might pose a headache for Democrats within the Senate, which they management by one seat.

In a second defiant assertion on Friday, Menendez vowed: “I am not going anyplace.”

His indictment comes after a years-long investigation by the Ministry of Justice.

In the summertime of 2022, federal brokers executed search warrants at Mr Menendez’s house and located proof of bribery agreements, together with greater than $480,000 (£390,000) in money, most of which was “stuffed in envelopes and hidden in garments, closets and a secure”. “, as plaintiffs allege.

Brokers mentioned additionally they discovered a luxurious Mercedes-Benz paid for by Uribe parked within the storage, in addition to $100,000 value of gold bars within the house, photographs of which had been included within the indictment.

On account of these fees, Menendez and his spouse had been required to surrender quite a few belongings, together with their house in New Jersey.

The BBC has contacted the businesses owned by Mr. Hanaa and Mr. Daibes for remark. The Egyptian Embassy in Washington, D.C., didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Menendez, his spouse and the three different defendants are scheduled to seem in Manhattan federal courtroom on September 27.

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