Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) was indicted on bribery charges last week, leading to calls for his resignation. Menendez claims the call for his resignation concerns his Latino heritage, not the indictment.
In a statement from Menendez Friday, the New Jersey senator claims he is the victim of racial discrimination. The complete statement given by Menendez was posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, late Saturday.
In his statement, Menendez focused on being innocent until proven guilty. He said some are rushing to judge a “Latino and push him out of his seat.”
While Menendez focuses on his Latino heritage as the reason people call for him to resign, there are more serious matters. The charges listed on the unsealed indictment Friday show what the senator is facing.
Among the bribery charges, the FBI and the IRS are looking into Menendez and his wife taking up to $400,000 worth of gold bars from Fred Daibes. Daibes is a New Jersey developer and former bank chairman.
The gold bars were exchanged for Menendez’s reaching out to the Department of Justice to help with charges facing Daibes at the time. The allegations point to Menendez and his wife working with Diabes in a “corrupt relationship.”
According to the unsealed indictment, there is much more to the charges than just $400,000 in gold bars. The charges include “hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes in exchange for using Menendez’s power and influence as a senator to seek to protect and enrich Hana, Uribe, and Daibes and benefit the Arab Republic of Egypt.”
The indictment went on to show “cash, gold, payments toward a home mortgage, compensation for a low-or-no-show job, a luxury vehicle, and “other things of value.” Menendez says these allegations are a misrepresentation of the “normal work of a Congressional office.”
A review of the indictment shows that Menendez’s heritage had nothing to do with the indictment or the call for his resignation. The charges go back for years. They also point to the admission by Menendez in 2020 of receiving the gold bars mentioned in the indictment.