Judge Denies Motion To Dismiss Charges Against Sen. Bob Menendez In Bribery Case

A federal judge in New York has rejected the motion to dismiss bribery charges filed against Senator Bob Menendez. The judge ruled that his actions cannot be shielded by his position as a United States senator or his former role as the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.

According to Judge Sidney Stein’s ruling on Thursday, the Speech or Debate Clause does not protect any of the allegations related to the U.S. Attorney Scheme or the Egyptian Aid Scheme.

Menendez attempted to have charges, such as conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right, and conspiracy for a public official to act as a foreign agent, dismissed.

The judge ruled that the U.S. Constitution’s Speech and Debate Clause protections for members of Congress did not warrant the dismissal of any of the charges. Furthermore, the judge stated that no allegations should be eliminated.

Prosecutors have alleged that Menendez, aged 69, conspired alongside his wife, Nadine Menendez, and businessman Wael Hana, with the intention of having the senator act as an agent of Egypt. According to the indictment, Menendez was supposed to receive bribe payments in exchange for his assistance in lifting a block on U.S. military aid to Egypt. Additionally, the senator has been accused of accepting bribes in return for granting favors to the government of Qatar.

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One of the individuals implicated in the case, Jose Uribe, recently admitted guilt and has made a commitment to assist with the investigation. According to prosecutors, Uribe disclosed that he provided Nadine Menendez with a high-end convertible as a favor in return for certain benefits.

Senator Menendez has made history as the first current member of Congress to face charges of conspiracy as a public official acting as a foreign agent.

The senator and his wife are now facing additional charges of obstruction, which were not included in Thursday’s order. Both the couple and the other defendants have pleaded not guilty to all charges listed in the four indictments.

The trial for them is scheduled to take place in May.

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