(MENAFN- Newsroom Panama) EFE News agency - Democratic Senator Bob Menéndez of New Jersey , accused along with his wife of having allegedly accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to enrich businessmen and the Egyptian government, issued a statement hours later in which he refused to resign.
“Those who believe in justice believe in innocence until proven guilty. I intend to continue fighting for the people of New Jersey with the same success that I have had during the last five decades,” Menéndez stated in the brief text to which EFE had access .
And he added:“It doesn't escape me how quickly some are quick to judge a Latino and push him out of his seat. "I'm not going anywhere."
A position that, among others, clashes with that of the governor of New Jersey, also a Democrat Phil Murphy, who had asked Menéndez to resign after learning that the senator was facing a“serious” accusation of federal charges that“compromises” his ability to“effectively represent” the inhabitants of their state.
What has been confirmed is that the Democratic legislator will stop chairing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee after being indicted.
“Senator Menéndez has decided, rightly, to temporarily resign from his position as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee until the matter is resolved,” reported Chuck Schumer, leader of the Democratic bloc in the Senate.
Bob Menéndez and his wife, Nadine Menéndez, were accused of pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for“protecting and enriching businessmen and benefiting the Government of Egypt,” the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York announced this Friday.
“The senator allegedly provided confidential US Government information to Egyptian officials and took steps to secretly assist the Government of Egypt,” explained US Attorney Damian Williams.
The compensation for the Menéndez family, which would have occurred from at least 2018 to 2022with cash, gold, mortgage payments, a job that required almost no presence for Nadine, and a Mercedes-Benz vehicle.
Williams also noted that when FBI agents searched the senator's residence and safe they found "approximately $500,000 in cash, stuffed in envelopes and cabinets" and that "some of the money was stuffed in the senator's jacket pockets."
Also charged are the three businessmen who allegedly bribed Menéndez: Wael Hana, José Uribe, and Fred Daibes.
This is the second time Menendez has been charged with federal bribery.
In 2015, he was charged with 14 criminal counts related to hundreds of thousands of dollars in lavish gifts and campaign donations he received from a Florida ophthalmologist, Salomon Melgen.