Senator Bob Menendez has chosen Hunter Biden's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, to defend him against serious bribery allegations. This decision comes as Menendez faces mounting pressure from fellow Democrats to step down.
Menendez is accused of accepting over $400,000 in gold bars, cash, and even a luxury Mercedes car.
These alleged bribes were in exchange for favors to a New Jersey developer and businessmen connected to the Egyptian government.
Despite these grave allegations, Menendez remains defiant, expressing confidence in his exoneration. He labeled the charges as 'salacious' during a press conference.
Support for Menendez within the Democratic party seems to be dwindling. Over two dozen Democrats from New Jersey have publicly called for his resignation.
Adding to his challenges, Rep. Andy Kim has announced his intention to run for Senate. Kim's decision poses a significant primary challenge for Menendez. Kim stated, "I believe New Jersey deserves better," emphasizing the need to restore faith in democracy.
Menendez's current situation is reminiscent of a 2015 bribery case against him, which ended in a mistrial. However, the political landscape seems different now.
Notably, many Democrats, including New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman, have urged Menendez to resign. Murphy expressed concerns about Menendez's ability to represent the state effectively given the gravity of the allegations.
The indictment against Menendez and his wife, Nadine Arslanian Menendez, is extensive.
It alleges an improper relationship with three New Jersey businessmen who supposedly bribed the couple. In return, Menendez allegedly used his influence in Washington D.C. for their benefit.
Menendez said of the investigation that they had "misrepresented" the normal work of a Congressional office, Daily Mail reports.
He also claimed that he and his wife are being targeted due to his Latin American heritage and his rise from humble beginnings to the U.S. Senate.
With Menendez's position looking increasingly precarious, Republicans see a potential opening to secure a Senate seat. However, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has ruled out running, focusing instead on his presidential campaign.
The indictment provides a detailed account of the alleged bribes, including cash, gold, and other valuables.
A raid on the Menendez home in June 2022 reportedly uncovered over $480,000 in cash and several gold bars. The indictment also suggests Menendez tried to influence the nomination of a U.S. Attorney for New Jersey to benefit an old friend, Fred Daibes, who has alleged ties to the mob.
The indictment also touches on Menendez's relationship with New Jersey businessman Wael Hana.
It alleges that Menendez used his position to protect a business monopoly granted to Hana by Egypt. This monopoly was reportedly used, in part, to fund the bribes paid to Menendez.
In a concerning revelation, the indictment suggests Menendez shared sensitive U.S. government information about Egypt, which was then passed on to Hana.