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DOJ weighing potential charges against Bob Menendez following criminal probe into gifts to his wife: report

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The U.S. Division of Justice is weighing potential expenses towards Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., following a yearslong federal legal probe into his dealings with international regulators, in response to a brand new report.

Detailed by individuals acquainted with the matter, prosecutors are more likely to meet with the senator’s legal professionals within the coming weeks forward of a remaining determination, the Wall Avenue Journal reported.

Menendez, who serves as chairman of the Senate International Relations Committee, a place he held from 2013 to 2015 and once more has been in since 2021, has been underneath investigation by the U.S. lawyer’s workplace for the Southern District of New York.

The probe, which entails a number of federal organizations, investigated lavish items Menendez’s spouse, Nadine Arslanian, allegedly acquired from a New Jersey meals producer that obtained an unique contract with the Egyptian authorities to certify halal meals exports throughout the globe.

DEMOCRAT SEN. BOB MENENDEZ SETS UP DEFENSE FUND AMID CRIMINAL PROBE INTO GIFTS TO HIS WIFE: REPORT

Bob Menendez

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., has been underneath investigation by the U.S. lawyer’s workplace for the Southern District of New York. (Al Drago/Bloomberg by way of Getty Photographs)

Egyptian officers and the New Jersey businessman who secured the contract have been hosted by Menendez in his workplace in 2018, in response to the Journal. A yr later, the businessman turned the “sole certifier of halal meat exported from the U.S. to Egypt,” the outlet famous.

“Particulars about any potential legal expenses couldn’t be discovered. It additionally couldn’t be decided whether or not different people underneath scrutiny, together with Arslanian, are in jeopardy of being prosecuted,” the outlet added.

The inquiry thought-about whether or not Menendez might have improperly used his place on the Senate International Relations Committee to affect the deal. The committee controls roughly $2 billion in U.S. help to Egypt, in response to an NBC report earlier this yr.

In a press release to the Journal, a Menendez spokeswoman stated, “As acknowledged beforehand, the senator stays assured this matter can be efficiently resolved.”

Federal investigators opened the probe into Menendez final October and gave no indication of how lengthy it was anticipated to proceed.

The Journal famous that the present probe dates again to at the least 2019, when the New Jersey dwelling of Wael Hana, an affiliate of Menendez’s spouse who labored to determine the halal enterprise that received the contract with Egypt, was searched by federal investigators.

SEN. BOB MENENDEZ ‘AWARE’ OF ONGOING FEDERAL INVESTIGATION

Bob Menendez, Nadine Menendez

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and his spouse, Nadine Arslanian, arrive to attend a state dinner hosted by President Biden and first girl Jill Biden on the White Home on June 22, 2023. (Ting Shen/Bloomberg by way of Getty Photographs)

“Any allegations about vehicles, flats, money, and jewellery being supplied by anybody related to ISEG Halal to Senator Menendez or his spouse in any respect, not to mention in alternate for any sort of favorable therapy, are completely with out foundation,” a spokeswoman for Hana stated in a earlier assertion.

Throughout an April look on CNN, Menendez insisted the investigation would not quantity to something.

“If anybody seems to be at my historical past on Egypt, they’d know that by each denying help to Egypt, denying arms gross sales to Egypt, criticizing its human-rights document, I’m not able to be useful to anybody because it pertains to Egypt,” he stated in relation to the contract between the 2 events.

In April, Menendez established a authorized protection fund to assist pay for tens of hundreds of {dollars} in authorized charges regarding the federal legal probe.

If charged, Menendez, a former member of the Home who has served within the Senate since 2006, might proceed to serve within the higher chamber. He’s up for re-election in 2024.

Menendez was beforehand indicted on federal bribery expenses in 2016. That case associated to a rich Florida eye physician and longtime good friend who gave beneficiant donations to Menedez and allegedly acquired advantages in return.

Bob Menendez

Menendez throughout a Senate listening to in Washington, D.C., on July 26, 2023. (Bob Menendez)

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The Division of Justice dropped these expenses in 2018, nevertheless, and the brand new probe was unrelated to that case.

Fox Information Digital reached out to Menendez’s workplace for added remark, however they didn’t instantly reply.

Fox Information’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.

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