October 25, 2023

Menendez Pleads Not Guilty to New Conspiracy Charge

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) entered a not guilty plea on Monday over a new charge that he conspired to serve as an agent of the Egyptian government.

Menendez entered the plea before Judge Sidney Stein in his first court appearance since his recent charges.

"Stein said the plea was the sole purpose for the hearing and adjourned the proceeding after less than five minutes," the Hill reported.

"The New Jersey Democrat left the courthouse minutes later without speaking to reporters waiting outside. At an arraignment before a magistrate judge last month, Menendez was released on a $100,000 bond," it added.

"The government's latest charge flies in the face of my long record of standing up for human rights and democracy in Egypt and in challenging leaders of that country, including President El-Sisi on these issues," Menendez said in a statement.

"Anyone who knows my record, knows this latest charge is as outrageous as it is absurd," he added. "I will not litigate this case through the press, but have made it abundantly clear that I have done nothing wrong and once all the facts are presented will be found innocent."

Menendez claimed he has only been loyal to the U.S. His wife, Nadine, has also been included in the senator's recent indictment.

Two businessmen, Fred Daibes and Jose Uribe, also pleaded not guilty for their alleged roles with Menendez last week.

Menendez has stepped down from his role on the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee but refuses to step down from the Senate. A number of lawmakers, including some Democrats, have called for Menendez to resign.

The trial, tentatively scheduled for May of next year, will be closely watched as the Democrat seeks to defend himself in court.

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