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Sen. Bob Menendez pleads not guilty for a third time in alleged bribery scheme


By Sabrina Souza and Jeff Winter, CNN

(CNN) — New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez pleaded not guilty on Monday to 12 new felony charges alleging he tried to obstruct a federal investigation into bribery allegations.

Menendez was indicted last week on new charges including bribery and extortion. Prosecutors alleged that he led his lawyers to provide false information in interviews with investigators, including claiming that the alleged illegal bribery were loans.

This is the senator’s third appearance in court to plead not guilty to charges related to the investigation.

His wife, Nadine Arslanian Menendez, was also arraigned on Monday in the Southern District of New York and pleaded not guilty to the new charges.

Appearing before federal Judge Sidney Stein, the senator responded, “Once again, not guilty, your honor,” when he asked for his plea.

The trial date will remain May 6, the judge ruled.

Two businessmen, Wael Hana and Fred Daibes, charged as co-defendants in the bribery scheme, also pleaded not guilty to new charges, which include multiple counts of bribery and honest services wire fraud.

Any motions in limine, proposed jury charges and proposed voir dire filings are due by April 5.

Along with Menendez and his wife, two other co-defendants pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges in October 2023 alleging that the senator conspired to act as a foreign agent of Egypt after he was indicted in September on corruption-related offenses and accused of accepting “hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes” in exchange for the senator’s influence.

The new charges come after a fifth defendant, New Jersey businessman Jose Uribe, pleaded guilty in early March and is cooperating with prosecutors.

Menendez has maintained he is innocent since the first indictment and the other charges have ensued. He also told CNN he would not resign from the Senate in the wake of the new charges.

This story has been updated with additional details.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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