Democrat Senator Bob Menendez To Change Party Status

( – Embattled U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) has filed the forms to change his party affiliation from Democrat to independent. Menendez is intent on running for reelection despite being charged with multiple felonies over an alleged bribery scheme orchestrated between himself, his wife, and three Egyptian businessmen. His trial is also playing out in a downtown Manhattan courthouse; his wife will have a separate trial at a later date.

The independent bid could potentially draw votes away from the favored potential Democratic candidate, New Jersey Representative Andy Kim. Kim was quoted suggesting that “Americans are fed up” with corrupt politicians using elected office for their own personal benefit. He added that Menendez’s bid is also self-interested.

As an independent candidate running for office, Menendez can spend campaign funds on his legal defense. Democrats regularly criticized former President Donald Trump for doing the same thing. RNC co-chair Lara Trump highlighted how donors can select if they want their monies to support his legal defense or not.

Bob and Nadine Menendez were both indicted over a scheme to take bribes from Egyptian representatives in exchange for various luxury items and outright cash. During a June 2022 raid, the FBI located 13 gold bars and nearly half a million dollars in cash. The gold bars varied in size between an ounce and a kilogram and the cash was found throughout the house. A Mercedes Benz car driven by his wife is also alleged to be part of the scheme.

Menendez previously told the corporate press that he would continue to run if exonerated during the trial after initially being charged in September last year. Department of Justice filings indicated that Menendez used his position as head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to enact policy that was favorable to Egypt in exchange for bribes. A revised indictment added allegations that he also arranged a deal between a friend and the Qatari government worth several million dollars.

A superseding indictment that followed added obstruction of justice, conspiracy, bribery, extortion, wire fraud, and acting as a foreign agent to the list of charges. Both Menendezes deny all the allegations.

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