Light Wave


Foreign relations chair Menendez indicted for corruption again

By Jake Beardslee · September 22, 2023

In brief…

  • Sen. Robert Menendez was charged in a new federal corruption indictment Friday.
  • The three-count indictment also charges the senator’s wife and three New Jersey businessmen.
  • Menendez was indicted six years ago on a different set of corruption charges. The trial ended in a hung jury.
  • Menendez is up for reelection next year.
Sen. Robert Menendez, an independent-minded Democrat, faces new federal corruption charges that could threaten his 2024 reelection.  Senator Bob Menendez/Wikimedia

Sen.Robert Menendez of New Jersey was charged in a sweeping federal corruption indictment Friday, law authorities announced.

The charges come after a lengthy investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, nearly six years after a previous corruption trial against Menendez on unrelated claims of corruption ended with a hung jury.

The new indictment, unsealed in Manhattan federal court, also names Menendez’s wife of three years, Nadine Menendez, and prominent New Jersey real estate developer Fred Daibes, accusing them of participating in the corruption scheme.

Daibes, who pleaded guilty to a financial crime last year, has helped transform parts of New Jersey’s Hudson River waterfront into a busy residential and commercial hub.

Two other New Jersey businessmen were also charged: Wael Hana, who founded a halal meat certification business, and Jose Uribe, who works in the trucking and insurance business.

It has been known for some time that Menendez was under federal scrutiny. He has said he was willing to assist investigators and was confident the matter would be “successfully closed.”

The charges will likely resonate in both Washington and New Jersey. Menendez faces at least one Democratic primary challenger in his planned re-election bid for a fourth Senate term next year. The Republican mayor of Mendham Borough, NJ, Christine Serrano Glassner, has also announced her intention to run for the seat.

If Menendez were to resign before his term ends, New Jersey’s Democratic governor, Philip Murphy, would appoint a replacement.

Menendez climbed the political ladder quickly in New Jersey, going from local school board to mayor to state legislature, before being appointed to the U.S. Senate in 2005.

In 2015, he was indicted on federal bribery charges related to gifts and campaign contributions from a wealthy doctor. The trial ended in a hung jury, and the Justice Department later dropped the charges.

As chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Menendez is one of Capitol Hill’s most influential Democrats.