Sen. Bob Menendez isn’t giving up easily, but his defenses are already looking pretty desperate. How long before his colleagues talk him into admitting reality?
On Monday, defiantly announcing his bid for re-election next year, the New Jersey Democrat insisted that keeping gobs of cash (and gold?) stashed in your home is a Cuban thing.
“For 30 years, I have withdrawn thousands of dollars in cash from my personal savings account, which I have kept for emergencies and because of the history of my family facing confiscation in Cuba,” <a href=”https://nypost.com/2023/09/22/bob-menendez-live-updates/”>Menendez told the press</a>.
Sorry, Bob: We’re talking about <em>half a million</em> bucks.
Plus, you never <em>lived</em> in the old country.
And, per the federal indictment, some of the cash-laden envelopes had the fingerprints and DNA of your co-defendant Fred Daibes or his driver: Those crisp new bills didn’t come from your savings.
And what about the $60,000 Mercedes allegedly provided by another co-defendant, Jose Uribe?
As <a href=”https://nypost.com/2023/09/22/bob-menendez-seems-to-think-he-has-a-license-to-loot-voters-should-take-it-away/”>we’ve noted</a>, Menendez seemed to take his escape from conviction in his 2017 trial as a “license to loot,” but the evidence this time around seems to exceed even the absurdly high bar for proving corruption.
That is, the link between his abuse of office and the bribes he took looks unmistakable.
The feds say they have proof he:
- Disrupted a federal prosecution into co-defendant Fred Daibes.
- Tampered with a Jersey state fraud prosecution of a business pal of co-defendant Jose Uribe.
- Provided “sensitive” secret US information to Egyptian officials.
- Pressured the US Agriculture Department to protect co-defendant Wael Hana’s “exclusive monopoly” to export halal-certified US foods to Egypt.
- Helped Egyptian officials lobby for Senate approval of US weapons sales.
<em>None</em> of that constitutes “the normal work of a Congressional office,” as Menendez claims. And the feds say all those “official acts” are clearly tied to payments and favors for the Menendez family.
That’s why Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and other top state Democrats called on him to resign Friday, right after the indictment landed: They don’t want him dragging the whole party down.
So far, his Senate colleagues <a href=”https://nypost.com/2023/09/24/senate-majority-whip-dick-durbin-stops-short-of-demanding-bob-menendez-to-resign/”>aren’t <em>publicly</em> calling</a> on him to quit: It’s only lefties like Sen. John Fetterman and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who dislike Menendez’s tough-for-a-Democrat foreign-policy stances.
But the reek is so great that Menendez is putting his party at risk of losing a precious Senate seat. If you want to bet, wager on how long it takes Majority Leader Chuck Schumer & Co. to talk him into resigning so the party can escape the albatross of his corruption.
Wake up, Bob: You’re toast.