Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors are considering charges for Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez as part of a years-long corruption investigation, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports.
Menendez and his wife, Nadine Arslanian, are being investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and prosecutors are expected to meet with Menendez’s attorneys in the coming weeks, people familiar with the matter told WSJ in a Friday report.
The Justice Department is weighing possible charges against Sen. Bob Menendez after a yearslong public-corruption probe. Prosecutors are expected to meet with his lawyers in the coming weeks ahead of a final decision. @coryramey @aviswanatha SCOOP https://t.co/kQwshtSSSy
— Sadie Gurman (@sgurman) August 25, 2023
Prosecutors are seeking to determine whether Menendez and Arslanian accepted gifts in exchange for political favors, the outlet previously reported. Another target of the investigation is a contract between an Egyptian-American businessman and Egypt for halal exports that enabled the businessman to become the sole certifier of U.S. halal meat exported to Egypt, WSJ reported in May. The DOJ and a lawyer for Arslanian declined to comment to the outlet. (RELATED: DOJ Prosecutor Who Allegedly Refused To Charge Hunter Biden Made His Career Going After Financial Crimes)
Menendez, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, hosted a meeting between the businessman and Egyptian officials at his senate office in 2018, months before the businessman secured the contract, according to WSJ. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi decided in 2018 to allow one company to control halal exports as part of Egypt’s effort to give its military more control of the economy.
“If anyone looks at my history on Egypt, they would know that by both denying aid to Egypt, denying arms sales to Egypt, criticizing its human-rights record, I am not in a position to be helpful to anyone as it relates to Egypt,” Menendez told CNN in April.
The Democratic senator was previously charged in 2015 for his alleged role in a bribery scheme involving a Florida doctor who lavished Menendez with gifts and campaign contributions. His 2017 trial ended in a mistrial because the jury was deadlocked, Reuters reported at the time.
The Senate Ethics Committee “severely admonished” Menendez in 2018 letter for “knowingly and repeatedly” accepting gifts without approval to advance his patron’s personal interests. Menendez won 54% of the vote in 2018, and he is up for reelection in 2024 for a potential fourth term in the Senate.
“As stated previously, the senator remains confident this matter will be successfully resolved,” a Menendez spokesperson told WSJ. His office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.