Bob Menendez Charged With Acting as an Unregistered Agent of Egypt as Dozens of His Own Colleagues Call On Him to Resign

Bob Menendez’s vow to stay in office got even more ridiculous and Veep-esque on Thursday, when federal prosecutors filed a superseding indictment against the New Jersey lawmaker, accusing him of acting as an unregistered agent of Egypt. The new charges come on top of ones already filed last month in which Menendez—along with his wife and a trio of New Jersey businessmen—was accused of taking part in a bribery conspiracy that, among other things, resulted in federal agents finding gold bars worth more than $100,000 and nearly $500,000 in cash hidden around his house.

The new indictment alleges that between January 2018 to June 2022, Menendez violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires individuals to register with the US government if they are acting as “an agent of a foreign principal.” (Though even if Menendez has registered it wouldn’t have mattered, given that, as a member of Congress, he was barred from acting as an agent of a foreign government.)

Per The Guardian:

The indictment says…that in May 2019, Menendez, his wife and a business associate, Wael Hana, met an Egyptian intelligence official in Menendez’s Senate office in Washington. During the meeting, they allegedly discussed a US citizen who was seriously injured in a 2015 airstrike by the Egyptian military using a US-made Apache helicopter, the indictment says. Some members of Congress objected to awarding certain military aid to Egypt over that episode and the perception that the Egyptian government was not willing to fairly compensate the injured American, according to the indictment.

Shortly after the meeting in Washington, the Egyptian official texted Hana that if Menendez helped resolve the matter, “he will sit very comfortably.” Hana, the indictment says, replied: “Orders, consider it done.”

The indictment also alleges that while serving as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Menendez ghostwrote a letter to his Senate colleagues telling them to lift a hold on $300 million in aid, and, per The Guardian, passed along “information about employees at the US embassy in Egypt and transmitting nonpublic information to Egyptian officials about military aid.”

Menendez, along with his wife and alleged coconspirators, pleaded not guilty to the original charges last month. According The Guardian, Menendez “has insisted that he did nothing unusual to assist Egypt and that prosecutors misunderstood the work of a senator involved in foreign affairs.” Despite calls by dozens of his colleagues to resign, the senator has refused to do so and, somehow,* keeps showing up to the office.

*Unless he’s decided to take the opportunity to WFH, which would definitely be a lot less awkward.

Meanwhile, in the House of Representatives

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