Embattled New Jersey Democratic Senator Robert Menendez has pleaded not guilty to new charges of conspiring to act as a foreign agent for the government of Egypt. Menendez and his wife, Nadine Arslanian Menendez, were previously charged with public corruption and bribery. According to prosecutors, they provided sensitive US government information and took steps to aid Egypt’s government.
During his arraignment, which lasted only a few minutes, Menendez declined to answer reporters’ questions. In a statement, he criticized the government’s tactics and asserted his loyalty to the United States. Menandez has also been accused of receiving lavish gifts in exchange for favors and knowledge to benefit Egypt’s government.
Despite the charges against him, Menendez has denied any wrongdoing and has vowed to serve out the rest of his term, which ends in 2025. However, two-thirds of Senate Democrats have called for his resignation. It remains uncertain whether he will seek reelection next year.
His wife, Nadine Arslanian Menendez, and co-defendant Wael Hana, have also pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. The lone Democrat to call for Menendez’s expulsion from the Senate is Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman.
Menendez was forced to step down as chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee but continues to conduct normal Senate business. He recused himself from a classified briefing on the Israel-Hamas war due to the charges regarding Egypt.
This is not the first time Menendez has faced corruption allegations. A previous federal corruption case against him ended in a mistrial in 2017.
• This story is based in part on wire service reports.