Menendez Seeking Senate As Independent

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) announced this week that he would seek another term in the Senate as an independent. The news came as the senator has been charged with a series of felonies related to alleged bribing by a foreign power.

Menendez is under indictment for alleged gifts he and his wife received from the Egyptian government. The senator is alleged to have received a luxury car, cash and gold from the Egyptian government. The Department of Justice accuses Menendez of accepting the gifts as a means to influence the U.S. government.

Menendez filed to run as an independent Monday as he seeks a fourth term. He said that he will not change his political party. He is running under the “Menendez for Senate” party.

The entry of an independent candidate against a Republican and Democrat in the race may mean that the GOP has an opportunity to pick up the traditionally blue seat.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams accused Menendez and his wife of having “engaged in a corrupt relationship” with businessmen “who collectively paid hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes, including cash, gold, a Mercedes Benz and other things of value – in exchange for Senator Menendez agreeing to use his power and influence to protect and enrich those businessmen and to benefit the Government of Egypt.”

Menendez was accused of accepting payments towards his wife Nadine’s home mortgage and accepting a “low-or-no-show job” for her. An FBI raid found “many of the fruits of this bribery scheme, including cash, gold, the luxury convertible and home furnishings.”

“Over $480,000 in cash — much of it stuffed into envelopes and hidden in clothing, closets and a safe — was discovered in the home, as well as over $70,000 in cash in NADINE MENENDEZ’s safe deposit box, which was also searched pursuant to a separate search warrant. Some of the envelopes contained the fingerprints and/or DNA of DAIBES or his driver,” said the DOJ in a statement.

Menendez has come under significant scrutiny over his conduct. He was removed from his ranking position in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) has repeatedly called for his resignation.