US Senator Menendez asks judge to dismiss charges, says he is immune

US Senator Menendez asks judge to dismiss charges, says he is immune

US Senator Menendez asks judge to dismiss charges, says he is immune By Reuters

Breaking News



Published Jan 10, 2024 01:24PM ET
Updated Jan 10, 2024 02:30PM ET

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) walks out of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on September 28, 2023. REUTERS/Craig Hudson/File Photo

By Luc Cohen

NEW YORK (Reuters) -U.S. Senator Bob Menendez on Wednesday asked a judge to dismiss the government’s corruption case against him, saying the indictment targets official acts that should be immune from prosecution.

The New Jersey Democrat has pleaded not guilty to charges of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from businessmen to impede law enforcement probes they faced, and illegally acting as an agent of the Egyptian government, including military and intelligence officials.

“The government’s accusations in this case — that he sold his office and even sold out his nation — are outrageously false, and indeed distort reality,” Menendez’s lawyers wrote in papers filed in Manhattan federal court.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan, which brought the charges, declined to comment. Prosecutors have until Feb. 5 to formally respond.

In charging the senator last September, prosecutors said investigators had found gold bars and envelopes stuffed with cash inside jackets in Menendez’s apartment.

They also said businessman Wael Hana had arranged meetings between Menendez and Egyptian officials, who pressed the senator to sign off on military aid.

In return, Hana put Menendez’s wife Nadine on the payroll of a company he controlled, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors filed a more sweeping indictment against Menendez last week, accusing him of helping a New Jersey businessman seek investment from a Qatari company with ties to the Middle Eastern country’s government.

Menendez has resisted calls to resign, including from fellow Democrats. He temporarily stepped down as chair of the Senate foreign relations committee after being charged in September.

In their motion to dismiss, Menendez’s lawyers argued to U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein that the charges improperly criminalized his ordinary legislative activities.

They argued the charges, if allowed to stand, would set a precedent for a future White House administration to prosecute “legislative enemies” who support Ukraine or Israel as agents of those countries.

“The court should not permit this novel and dangerous encroachment on legislative independence,” defense lawyers led by Adam Fee of the law firm Paul Hastings wrote.

Menendez’s lawyers also said cash that investigators found had been withdrawn from his bank account, and that the gold bars were “entirely unrelated to any actions on the part of the Senator.”

Nadine Menendez, Hana, and two other businessmen also charged in the case have also pleaded not guilty.

A trial for all defendants is scheduled for May 6.

US Senator Menendez asks judge to dismiss charges, says he is immune

Our Apps

Terms And Conditions
Privacy Policy
Risk Warning
Do not sell my personal information

© 2007-2024 Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.