US Senator Bob Menendez claims he is innocent on corruption charges brought by the Federal Government.
Sen. Bob Menendez was indicted on federal corruption charges Wednesday.
The New Jersey Democrat was hit with a 14-count indictment, “with crimes including conspiracy to commit bribery and honest services fraud.”
These are the first criminal charges against a sitting U.S. senator in seven years.
“I will be vindicated and they will be exposed” Senator Menendez pointed at the Press Conference.
The case is the result of a two-year investigation by the Feds into Menendez’s relationship with Florida eye doctor Dr. Salomon Melgen.
Melgen was also charged in association with the alleged scheme.
“I began my political career 40 years ago fighting corruption in City Government, I publicly complaint about illegal financial dealings in my city until the FBI investigated, and the US Attorney filed corruption charges against the Mayor and others. I was called to testify for the prosecution, I received death threats, I wore a bulletproof vest for a month, that is how I began my career in Public Service and this is not how my career is going to end” Menendez says.
The senator is allowed the opportunity to turn himself in after the indictment since he is not considered a public safety or flight risk, according to those close to the case.
“I am angry because prosecutors at the Justice Department don’t know the difference between friendship and corruption and have chosen to twist my duties as a Senator and my friendship into something that is improper” Menendez also said at the Press Conference.
Menendez, 61, remains steadfast that he will fight the charges and denies any wrongdoing.