[Photo Credit: By Senator Bob Menendez - DSC_0703, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=68029646]

REPORT: Federal Government Considering Charges Against Senior Democrat

After a lengthy investigation into public corruption, the Justice Department is now reportedly considering charging Sen. Bob Menendez, according to persons familiar with the situation.

Before making a final decision, prosecutors are anticipated to meet with his attorneys in the upcoming weeks, the persons added.

Menendez, the senior senator from New Jersey and a Democrat who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has come under investigation by the Southern District of New York’s U.S. attorney’s office.

He or his wife, Nadine Arslanian, may have accepted gifts in exchange for political favors, according to a portion of the investigation.

According to the Journal, prosecutors have also looked into the circumstances surrounding a lucrative deal a New Jersey businessman signed with Egyptian officials for the certification of halal meat exports.

Menendez hosted the businessman and government representatives from Egypt in his office in 2018, and the following year, he was designated as the exclusive certifier of halal meat sold from the United States to Egypt.

It was impossible to find out specifics concerning any prospective criminal accusations.

It was also impossible to say whether Arslanian and the other people being investigated would face legal consequences.

The present investigation is distinct from a federal investigation that resulted in charges being brought by the Justice Department against the New Jersey senator in 2015.

In that instance, prosecutors charged Menendez with engaging in a lengthy bribery scheme involving up to $1 million in gifts and contributions to his campaign from a Florida optometrist.

The jury was unable to agree on a verdict, which led to the mistrial in the 2017 trial.

After the judge cleared Menendez of some allegations, the senator steadfastly defended his innocence, and the government decided against retrying him.

If prosecuted, Menendez might continue to hold office in the partisan Senate, much like he did in the first case. Next year, he will be up for reelection.

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