U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, New Jersey, indicted over gifts of gold bars, car, apartment

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(NEW YORK) — A federal grand jury in New York has returned an indictment against United States Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., chairman of the powerful Foreign Relations Committee.

The investigation focused on a luxury car, gold bars and an apartment allegedly received by Menendez and his wife, Nadine Arslanian. His wife was also indicted.

The indictment charges Menendez, 69, and his wife with having a corrupt relationship with three New Jersey businessmen — Wael Hana, Jose Uribe and Fred Daides.

The indictment accuses Menendez and his wife of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes in exchange for using the senator’s power and influence to seek to protect and enrich the businessman.

“Those bribes included cash, gold, payments toward a home mortgage, compensation for a low-or-no-show job, a luxury vehicle, and other things of value,” the indictment said.

This is the second time New Jersey’s senior senator has been charged with corruption. A 2015 case ended in a mistrial after a jury failed to reach a verdict on all counts and a judge acquitted him on some charges.

The previous charges against Menendez centered on his relationship with Florida eye doctor Solomon Melgen, a close ally of the senator. Menendez allegedly accepted gifts from Melgen in exchange for using the power of his senate office to benefit the doctor’s financial and personal interests.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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