Prosecutors pursuing a corruption case against Bob Menendez on Thursday brought a new charge against the Democratic U.S. senator, accusing him of engaging in a conspiracy to act as a foreign agent for the Egyptian government.
The new charge was included in a revised indictment filed against the senator for New Jersey in federal court in Manhattan that includes four counts against Menendez. His trial on corruption charges will begin in May.
Prosecutors have said that Menendez and his wife, Nadine Menendez, accepted gold bars and hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for using their influence to interfere with law enforcement probes of three New Jersey businessmen as well as aid the Egyptian government.
The new indictment accuses the senator, until recently the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, of taking actions on behalf of Egyptian military and intelligence officials without registering with the U.S. Department as a foreign agent.
Prosecutors have said that a co-defendant, Wael Hana, arranged meetings between the senator and Egyptian officials, who pressed him to sign off on military aid. In return the businessman put Nadine Menendez on the payroll of a company he controlled.
The senator has thus far resisted calls for his resignation and has pleaded not guilty the prior charges against him as have his wife, Hana and their co-defendants, businessmen Jose Uribe and Fred Daibes.
A lawyer for Menendez did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston and Kanishka Singh and Susan Heavey in Washington; editing by Franklin Paul and Mark Porter)
Published under: Bob Menendez