Bob Menendez pleads not guilty in federal court to bribery charges

 September 28, 2023

Fox News reported that New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez pleaded not guilty this week to bribery charges. 

According to the network, Menendez appeared in a Manhattan federal court on Wednesday alongside his wife, Nadine Menendez, who entered a not-guilty plea as well.

Other defendants also enter not-guilty pleas

The lawmaker's recognizance bond was set for $100,000 while his wife's bond amount stood at $250,000. While both are required to surrender their passports, Mr. Menendez will retain the official passport granted to him as a senior senator.

What's more, the senator is prohibited from communicating with members of his staff and will be kept under pretrial supervision.

Not guilty pleas were also made by two of the couple's co-defendants, real estate developer Fred Daibes and businessman Jose Uribe.

Fox News noted that Daibes founded a New Jersey-based bank and has long been a major fundraiser for Menedez's campaigns.

Uribe has a background in trucking and previously had his license to operate as an insurance broker revoked after being convicted of fraud. Uribe's bond was set at $1 million while Daibes stood at double that amount.

Scheme said to involve gold bars and the government of Egypt

Meanwhile, another alleged co-conspirator named Wael Hana pleaded not guilty after being arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport earlier in the week.

Hana, who is originally from Egypt, and was released on a $5 million personal recognizance bond. Hana was also compelled to surrender his passport and wear a GPS monitoring device.

Fox News reported last week that Menendez was accused in a federal indictment of getting gold bars and other valuables in exchange for helping the Egyptian government.

"Menendez also improperly advised and pressured an official at the United States Department of Agriculture for the purpose of protecting a business monopoly granted to Hana by Egypt and used in part to fund the bribes being paid to Menendez through Nadine Menendez," the indictment was quoted as saying.

Menendez to face primary challenger

Menendez has thus far resisted calls to step down from other Democrats like former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Further, New Jersey Democratic Rep. Andy Kim announced this past weekend that he will launch a primary challenge against Menendez.

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