NEW YORK — Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) was charged in a superseding federal indictment on Thursday with conspiracy by a public official to act as a foreign agent, intensifying the legal peril facing the veteran lawmaker as he continues to resist calls to resign.
Federal prosecutors charged Menendez, 69, and his wife Nadine with bribery last month, alleging that they accepted cash and gifts totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for attempting to assist the Egyptian government.
The senator, his wife and three associates — Wael Hana, Fred Daibes and Jose Uribe — were charged with conspiracy to commit bribery and conspiracy to commit honest services fraud. The Menendezes also were charged with conspiracy to commit extortion as a public official.
Now they and Hana face an additional count for allegedly conspiring to have Menendez act as an illegal foreign agent on behalf of the Egyptian government, while he was serving as a U.S. senator with access to sensitive intelligence as the former head of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee.
The couple and Hana all pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Manhattan after the initial indictment. Menendez also gave up his committee chairmanship temporarily, in accordance with Democratic Senate rules.
The indictment described Menendez accepting gold bars, cash and a Mercedes in exchange for his cooperation with Hana, who was the senator’s U.S.-based go-between with Egyptian officials.
This is a developing story. It will be updated.