NJ Sen. Bob Menendez facing new charges of acting as foreign agent

Janice Yu Image
Wednesday, October 18, 2023
Senator Menendez accused of acting as foreign agent
Janice Yu reports on Senator Menendez's expected court appearance in Lower Manhattan.

NEW YORK -- A court hearing in the case against New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez was set to be in Lower Manhattan on Wednesday but has since been rescheduled. The acting senator is facing new federal charges weeks after he was accused of accepting bribes.

This is the first time a sitting member of Congress has been charged with conspiring to act as a foreign agent.

Menendez, until recently, was the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Federal prosecutors say he was a part of a corrupt agreement between January 2018 and June 2022, where the senator received hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes for official access.

The indictment says his wife and business associate were both involved.

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This was just weeks after he and his wife were accused of accepting bribes, things like cash, gold bars, and luxury cars from New Jersey businessmen.

Menendez, his wife, and his business associate pleaded not guilty to these charges.

"Piling new charge upon new charge does not make the allegations true. The facts haven't changed, only a new charge. It is an attempt to wear someone down and I will not succumb to this tactic," the senator said in a statement.

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The hearing has been rescheduled for October 23.

There are growing calls for the senator to step down, but Menendez refuses to do so. Earlier this month, a tentative trial date was scheduled for May 6, which would come just one month before New Jersey's June primary, meaning it could still be underway when voters start casting ballots on whether to return Menendez to the Senate.