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On the Senate floor, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) vehemently denied allegations of receiving gifts from Qatar in exchange for political favors and expressed no intention of resigning.
Following a second superseding indictment by federal prosecutors, Menendez claimed that he received “absolutely nothing” from Qatar and criticized what he perceives as a relentless prosecutorial campaign aimed at his resignation. During his speech, Menendez said, “The United States Attorney’s Office is engaged not in a prosecution, but a persecution. They seek a victory, not justice. It’s an unfortunate reality but prosecutors sometimes sometimes shoot first before they even know all the facts.”
The accusations against Menendez include receiving luxury items such as Formula One race tickets in 2022, gold bars, cash, and a potentially unclaimed $24,000 watch. However, Menendez refuted these claims, stating, “There is no evidence of the giving or receiving of cash and gold bars.” The prosecutors allege that in exchange for these gifts, Menendez praised the Qatari government for assisting a New Jersey developer in securing a profitable deal. These new allegations add to previous corruption charges and acting as a foreign agent for Egypt.
Menendez’s charges have led to dwindling support in the Senate, with over 30 Democratic colleagues previously demanding his resignation. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer described the allegations as “disappointing and disturbing.”