Senator Bob Menendez, speaking for the first time since being indicted on federal bribery charges last Friday, maintained his innocence today, stating that, “The allegations leveled against me are just that, allegations.”
The indictment alleges that Menendez and his wife accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for Menendez using his power and influence to protect and to enrich three New Jersey businessmen and to benefit the government of Egypt. The bribes came in the form of cash, gold, home mortgage payments, a Mercedes Benz and a low-show or no-show job for Nadine Menendez, the indictment alleges.
“I firmly believe that when all the facts are presented, not only will I be exonerated, but I still will be New Jersey’s senior senator,” Menendez said.
He went on to defend his record in Egypt, and addressed the more than $480,000 in cash found in his home, suggesting that it came from his personal savings.
“For 30 years, I have withdrawn thousands of dollars in cash from my personal savings account, which I have kept for emergencies and because of the history of my family facing confiscation in Cuba,” Menendez said. “Now this may seem old fashioned, but these were monies drawn from my personal savings account based on money that I have lawfully derived over those 30 years. I look forward to addressing other issues at trial.”
He did not address the gold bars found in his home.
Speaking directly to the people of New Jersey, Menendez said he has no plans of stepping down, adding, “I am not going anywhere. Those who believe in justice believe in innocence until proven guilty. I intend to continue to fight for the people of New Jersey with the same success I’ve had for the past five decades.”
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