A New Jersey Republican looking to challenge Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., in the 2024 election lambasted the “culture of corruption” surrounding the senator after his bribery indictment.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York on Friday released an indictment against Menendez that accused him of accepting bribes from several New Jersey businessmen. The senator allegedly received more than $480,000 in gold and other payments in return for favors. Menendez has denied any wrongdoing.
After the indictment was unsealed, Mendham Mayor Christine Serrano Glassner ripped the Democrat in a scathing statement accusing the senator of using his public office to enrich himself.
“The indictment of Sen. Menendez is a sad day for New Jersey, but not surprising. ‘Gold Bar Bob’ has been battling credible allegations of corruption throughout most of his time in office, all while being protected and enabled by his cronies and allies in Washington,” said Glassner.
DEMOCRATIC SEN. BOB MENENDEZ FACING INDICTMENT ON BRIBERY CHARGES
Evidence photos depict Democratic New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez, Nadine Menendez and Egyptian Official-5 meeting at a private dinner at the official’s home. A federal indictment was unsealed on Friday, charging Senator Menendez and his wife – along with three New Jersey businessmen – with bribery offenses relating to alleged efforts to utilize his political position to aid the Arab Republic of Egypt. (United States District Court )
“Meanwhile, New Jersey had the highest unemployment increase in the country over the past year, and hard-working New Jerseyans are struggling to put gas in their cars and food on their tables. So, while Bob Menendez has been enriching himself and his family, his policies have been impoverishing the New Jerseyans he was elected to represent,” she continued.
“I’m running for Senate to fight against this culture of corruption embodied by Bob Menendez and bring change that will empower New Jerseyans and bring economic relief to the people who have worked hardest for it,” the statement concluded.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams announced a three-count indictment of Menendez on corruption charges Friday morning in a stunning development that upset New Jersey’s upcoming Senate election.
The indictment comes after FBI and IRS criminal investigators opened a probe into Menendez and his wife, Nadine Menendez, who allegedly received up to $400,000 worth of gold bars from Fred Daibes, a New Jersey developer and former bank chairman, or his associates in a swap for Menendez reaching out to the U.S. Department of Justice to aid the “admitted felon” accused of banking crimes.
FEDS PROBING IF DEM SEN MENENDEZ OR WIFE ACCEPTED GOLD BARS WORTH HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS FROM FELON: REPORT
Evidence photos show gold bars that were gifted by Fred Daibes and found in Democratic New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez and Nadine Menendez’ home. A federal indictment was unsealed on Friday, charging Senator Menendez and his wife – along with three New Jersey businessmen – with bribery offenses relating to alleged efforts to utilize his political position to aid the Arab Republic of Egypt. (United States District Court )
The unsealed indictment alleges that from at least 2018 through 2022, Menendez and his wife “engaged in a corrupt relationship” with Daibes, as well as New Jersey businessmen Wael Hana and Jose Uribe.
The couple are accused of accepting “hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes in exchange for using Menendez’s power and influence as a senator to seek to protect and enrich Hana, Uribe, and Daibes and to benefit the Arab Republic of Egypt.”
The alleged bribes included cash, gold, payments toward a home mortgage, compensation for a low- or no-show job, a luxury vehicle and “other things of value.” Menendez disclosed that his family had accepted gold bars in 2020.
In a statement, Menendez denied any wrongdoing and said prosecutors “misrepresented the normal work of a Congressional office” and are trying to “dig my political grave.”
DOJ WEIGHING POTENTIAL CHARGES AGAINST BOB MENENDEZ FOLLOWING CRIMINAL PROBE INTO GIFTS TO HIS WIFE: REPORT
Menendez was previously indicted on federal bribery charges in 2016. That case related to a wealthy Florida eye doctor and longtime friend who gave generous donations to Menendez and allegedly received benefits in return.
However, the Department of Justice dropped those charges in 2018, and the new probe is unrelated to that case.
A former businesswoman, Glassner announced her candidacy for Senate to unseat Menendez in a campaign video earlier this week. In 2018, she became the first woman elected mayor in Mendham, New Jersey, having previously served on the town council.
Fox News’ Joe Schoffstal contributed to this report.
Chris Pandolfo is a writer for Fox News Digital. Send tips to c[email protected] and follow him on Twitter @ChrisCPandolfo.