Sen. Menendez is accused of being an unregistered agent of Egypt’s government in updated indictment

Sen. Bob Menendez and his wife, Nadine Menendez, leave federal court on Sept. 27 in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

NEW YORK — U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey was charged Thursday with conspiring for years to act as an agent of the Egyptian government while he held a powerful role in shaping U.S. foreign policy, putting the Democrat in deeper legal trouble as he continues to reject calls to resign.

The superseding indictment in Manhattan federal court accuses Menendez of violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires people to register with the U.S. government if they act as “an agent of a foreign principal.” As a member of Congress, Menendez was prohibited from being an agent of a foreign government.


The new charge comes weeks after Menendez and his wife were accused of accepting bribes of cash, gold bars and a luxury car from three New Jersey businessmen who wanted the senator’s help and influence over foreign affairs.

The new indictment says a conspiracy occurred from January 2018 to June 2022, alleging that Menendez “promised to take and took a series of acts on behalf of Egypt, including on behalf of Egyptian military and intelligence officials.” It said he conspired to do so with his wife, Nadine, and a business associate and fellow defendant, Wael Hana.

According to the indictment, Hana and Nadine Menendez also communicated requests and directives from Egyptian officials to Menendez.

Hours after the latest charge was revealed, Menendez issued a statement, saying it “flies in the face of my long record of standing up for human rights and democracy in Egypt and in challenging leaders of that country, including President (Fattah) El-Sisi on these issues.”

“I have been, throughout my life, loyal to only one country — the United States of America, the land my family chose to live in democracy and freedom,” he added. “Piling new charge upon new charge does not make the allegations true. … I again ask people who know me and my record to give me the chance to present my defense and show my innocence.”

The new charge brought fresh calls for Menendez to resign. Democratic Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania said in a statement that senators should vote to expel Menendez because “we cannot have an alleged foreign agent in the United States Senate.”

But a vote to expel was unlikely before trial. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has not called on Menendez to resign and has not commented on the new charge.

The charge comes as more than 30 Senate Democrats — including his home state colleague, Democratic Sen. Cory Booker — have called on him to resign.

Menendez has remained defiant, telling colleagues in a closed-door luncheon two weeks ago that he will not leave the Senate.

Menendez has not said whether he will run for reelection next year. At least one Democrat, New Jersey Rep. Andy Kim, has already jumped into the primary, and the head of Senate Democrats’ campaign arm, Michigan Sen. Gary Peters, has called on Menendez to resign, signaling that he may not receive campaign assistance traditionally available to incumbents. Kim on Thursday urged the Senate to expel Menendez.

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