NJ Sen. Robert Menendez under investigation for receiving expensive gifts from business
NJ Sen. Robert Menendez under investigation for receiving expensive gifts from businessBrady Knox
May 25, 10:35 PM May 25, 10:35 PM
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) is under investigation by the Department of Justice for expensive gifts he allegedly received from a New Jersey business.
The gifts include a luxury Washington, D.C., apartment, a Mercedes-Benz, money, and jewelry, all valued in the tens of thousands of dollars, sources told NBC New York. The DOJ suspects that the gifts were given to Menendez by the Edgewater business IS EG Halal, which was granted a contract with the Egyptian government despite complaints that the business didn’t have the proper experience. The New Jersey Democrat serves as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman and oversees billions in aid to the Egyptian government.
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“I am sure it is going to end up in absolutely nothing,” Menendez said of the allegations last week.
However, some suspect that the contract was granted by Menendez in a quid pro quo scheme. Damian Williams, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, AND FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation agents are working on the investigation.
None of the items appear on Menendez’s Senate disclosure forms. A separate IRS criminal investigation is underway to determine if the gifts were properly accounted for in tax filings.
IS EG Halal was awarded a halal meat certification contract with the Egyptian government in 2019 — seven companies around the globe were concurrently fired from the role. The Edgewater firm is run by a Christian and appeared to have no prior experience in Islamic halal certification, leading to suspicion from many.
“It defies logic,” said Peter Paradis, the former deputy assistant inspector general at the Department of Agriculture. “This corporation has no track record of doing these types of certifications — and yet the country in question earmarks them as the sole entity to perform that task?”
IS EG Halal claimed innocence, denying any wrongdoing.
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“Allegations about cars, apartments, cash, and jewelry being provided by anyone associated with IS EG Halal to Sen. Menendez or his wife at all, let alone in exchange for any kind of favorable treatment, are totally without basis,” said Wael Hana, a spokesman for IS EG Halal.
The Washington Examiner reached out to Menendez for comment.