US Senator Robert Menendez was accused of bribery and extortion by federal prosecutors. Menendez was accused of exploiting his position to gain favors from the Egyptian government and three other persons.
The New Jersey Democrat and his wife allegedly stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, gold bars, mortgage payments, a convertible Mercedes-Benz, and other items.
Some of the money was tucked into jackets displaying his name, and most of it was stashed throughout their house in boxes and envelopes.
A luxurious Mercedes Benz convertible that had been given away by one of the businessmen and gold bars worth about $150,000 were also discovered.
Authorities claimed they had proof that Menendez looked up the value of the gold bars around the time he and his wife got them on Google.
He is charged with making unusual measures to assist those who reportedly showered him and his wife Nadine Menendez with gifts and cash.
Two accusations of bribery and fraud were brought against Menendez, his wife Hana, and the two other businessmen, Jose Uribe and Fred Daibes.
Extortion charges were also brought against Menendez and his wife.
Menendez is accused of using his position to help Hana maintain its monopoly on certifying the Islamic compliance of beef sent from the US to Egypt. Hana obtained the monopoly in 2019 despite having no prior expertise with halal certification.
Menendez “temporarily” resigned from his post as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, which had given him substantial influence over US foreign policy, hours after the indictment.
Menendez referred to the accusations as “baseless” and described the indictment as an attack on him and his wife Nadine Menendez personally.
Even other Democrats called for his resignation, with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy calling the accusations “deeply disturbing.”
The most serious of the offenses carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail.