Music Matters
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Sen. Bob Menendez and his wife plead not guilty in bribery case

Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and his wife Nadine Menendez arrive to the federal courthouse in New York on Wednesday.
Jeenah Moon
/
AP
Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and his wife Nadine Menendez arrive to the federal courthouse in New York on Wednesday.

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and his wife, Nadine, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to bribery charges in a federal court in Manhattan.

The two were charged in an indictment last week that claimed Menendez allegedly accepted luxury goods and large sums of money in bribes in exchange for committing corrupt acts, including providing sensitive information to the government of Egypt.

Menendez was released on a $100,000 bail and will have to hand over his personal passport but can keep his official passport and can continue foreign travel only for official duties as senator.

He intends to continue his work as New Jersey's senior senator despite calls from more than a dozen Senate Democrats for him to resign.

Menendez has so far adamantly refused to do so, claiming his innocence. He has only agreed to temporarily step down from his post as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters Wednesday that Menendez will address the Democratic Caucus tomorrow.

Schumer has not called on Menendez to resign.

"Like you, I was just deeply disappointed and disturbed when I read the indictment," he said Wednesday. "I've known Sen Menendez a very long time and it was truly, truly upsetting. But we all know that for senators there's a much, much higher standard. And clearly, when you read the indictment, Senator Menendez fell way, way below that standard."

Nadine Menendez was released on $250,000 bail with her travel restricted as well.

Menendez, 69, and his wife, Nadine, 56, are facing charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, attempt and conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right, according to court documents.

Their alleged coconspirators, New Jersey businessmen Fred Daibes, a real estate developer, Wael Hana and Joseph Uribe were also named in that same indictment and are facing two charges each.

Hana pleaded not guilty on Tuesday.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jaclyn Diaz is a reporter on Newshub.