Democratic Senator Bob Menendez gave his first statement after the Justice Department formally charged him with alleged corruption. The senator defended himself and stated that he will be exonerated of the bribery accusations against him, which he described as serious. Furthermore, he refused to resign from his position.
“Everything I've accomplished I've worked for despite the naysayers and everyone who has underestimated me. I recognize this will be the biggest fight yet, but as I have stated throughout this whole process, 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." said the Democratic senator during a press conference.
‘Prosecutors are wrong’
In addition, he maintained that prosecutors often make mistakes. He explained that the cash, almost $500,000, and the gold bars found in his house were resources he had in his residence due to his family's experience with the Cuban regime, which confiscated many of their assets.
“The court of public opinion is no substitute for our revered justice system. Those who have rushed to judgment have done so based on a limited set of facts formulated by the Prosecutor's Office to be as salacious as possible. Remember, prosecutors make mistakes,” added the legislator.
For 30 years, I have withdrawn thousands of dollars in cash from my personal savings account .. for emergencies and because of the history of my family facing confiscation in Cuba. Now this may seem old-fashioned, but these were monies drawn from my personal savings account based on the income that I have lawfully derived over those 30 years.
The accusations against Bob Menendez
The Democratic senator, who resigned as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, faces three different charges: conspiracy to commit extortion, another for accepting bribes in exchange for official favors and a third linking bribes to committee work.
The three-count indictment, which also involves his wife, is for allegedly using his official position in a series of corruption cases not only in the country, but also abroad. According to The New York Times, in one case, the senator tried to benefit the government of Egypt:
Even secretly providing him with confidential information from the United States Government, while in two others, he sought to influence the criminal investigations of two New Jersey businessmen, one of whom was raising funds for Mr. Menendez.