Bob Menendez Makes Claim About Why He Had $480,000 In Cash At His Home
US Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, speaks during a hearing on "Review of the FY2023 State Department Budget Request," in Washington, DC, on April 26, 2022.
AL DRAGO / POOL / AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) held a press conference on Monday to address the federal corruption charges by prosecutors from the Southern District of New York who accused him of accepting bribes.

The federal indictment was unsealed on Friday, and it accused the senator and his wife of accepting bribes from three business people in exchange for actions that he took as chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee. According to the DOJ, the bribes were intended to protect the businessmen and to benefit Egypt.

Menendez offered an explanation for why he had $480,000 in cash at his home when investigators executed a search warrant.

“For 30 years, I have withdrawn thousands of dollars in cash from my personal savings account, which I have kept for emergencies, and because of the history of my family facing confiscation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,” he said. “Now, this may seem old-fashioned, but these were monies drawn from my personal savings account based on the income that I have lawfully derived over those 30 years. I look forward to addressing other issues at trial.”

Menendez did not address the gold, luxury car, home furnishings, and mortgage payments that prosecutors allege he also accepted as bribes. Authorities say some of the envelopes full of money found in the home contained the fingerprints of the business people who are accused of paying the bribes to Menendez.


The 69-year-old senator did not address allegations in the indictment that he turned over sensitive U.S. government information to the Egyptian government.

He also emphasized his record on Egypt “during the period described in this indictment.”

“My record is clear and consistent in holding Egypt accountable for its unjust detention of American citizens and others, its human rights abuses, its deepening relationship with Russia, and efforts that have eroded the independence of the nation’s judiciary among a myriad of concerns.”

Menendez faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted of the charges, which include conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, and conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right.

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