Senator Bob Menendez Fights Back Against False Bribery Charges, Lawyers Assert Constitutional Immunity

New York, NY (AP) — Senator Bob Menendez and his lawyers are seeking the dismissal of charges, including bribery, as they argue that the claims made by New York federal prosecutors are “outrageously false” and “distort reality.” Menendez and his wife had previously pleaded not guilty after being charged with accepting bribes in exchange for using his influence to benefit three New Jersey businessmen, who have also pleaded not guilty.

The indictment has been updated to include allegations that Menendez used his political power to secretly advance Egypt’s interests and assist a businessman associated with the government of Qatar. In response, Menendez and his lawyers are steadfastly defending his official actions and decisions, expressing their intent to proudly defend them at trial, which is scheduled for May 5. Menendez is currently free on $100,000 bail.

In court documents, Menendez’s lawyers argue that their client’s conduct should be considered “constitutionally immune” and that none of it should serve as the basis for criminal charges. They contest the government’s claims that Menendez sold his office and betrayed his nation, labeling these accusations as false and distortions of reality.

Furthermore, Menendez’s lawyers assert that the government is overstepping its bounds by charging him for actions such as contacting local state prosecutors on behalf of his constituents or introducing constituents to foreign dignitaries. They argue that none of these actions are illegal or improper.

The indictment also accuses Menendez of interfering in criminal investigations, including pushing for the appointment of a federal prosecutor in New Jersey who could be influenced in a criminal case involving a businessman linked to Menendez. Additionally, prosecutors claim that Menendez attempted to influence a separate criminal investigation conducted by the New Jersey Attorney General’s office.

Menendez’s lawyers argue that the charge of conspiring to act as an agent of the Egyptian government disrupts the separation of powers, empowering the executive and judicial branches to encroach upon legislative independence. They caution against setting a precedent that would allow future presidents to prosecute legislative enemies as agents of foreign governments based on their political actions.

The lawyers also note that there is “overwhelming, indisputable evidence” that Menendez remained independent from any foreign official. They emphasize that, contrary to the government’s claims, Menendez consistently challenged Egypt’s government on issues such as human rights abuses.

Menendez’s legal team plans to file further challenges in the coming week, including arguments that the indictment was filed in the wrong courthouse and that multiple separate schemes were unfairly grouped into single conspiracy counts.

At present, prosecutors have declined to comment on Menendez’s motion to dismiss the charges.

Senator Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, stepped down from his position as the head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee after being charged in September. Prosecutors allege that Menendez and his wife accepted bribes over a five-year period in exchange for engaging in corrupt acts. Menendez was also charged in October with conspiring to act as an agent of the Egyptian government, an act that is prohibited for members of Congress.

In conclusion, Senator Menendez and his legal team are seeking the dismissal of charges, arguing that the allegations made by federal prosecutors are false and distort the truth. They believe that their client’s actions were constitutionally immune and that the government has wrongfully charged him for engaging in legitimate legislative actions. Menendez’s lawyers plan to continue challenging the charges in court. The trial is set to begin on May 5.