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Sen. Bob Menendez Passing Around Petition for Independent Run

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Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) is reportedly passing around a petition in order to appear on the ballot as an independent candidate.

Menendez and his wife, Nadine were each charged in September 2023 with three federal counts of allegedly accepting bribes from three New Jersey businessmen; Wael Hana, Fred Daibes, and Jose Uribe.

The couple allegedly used the senator’s power and influence to “protect and enrich” the businessmen and to “benefit the Arab Republic of Egypt,” according to the indictment in the New York Times.

Menendez was also hit with additional allegations in January and is accused of accepting bribes from the Qatari royal family in exchange for speaking highly about Qatar. In exchange for his positive comments about Qatar, Menendez was allegedly given valuables like luxury wristwatches.

The senator has reportedly been seeking help from several friends in the state in order to pass the petition around and get at least 800 registered voters to sign it before a deadline of June 4, according to the New Jersey Globe.

This comes after the senator declined to run for reelection as a Democrat, and has since debated the idea of running as an independent candidate.

The New Jersey Globe reported:

By filing, he would preserve the option of attempting to keep his seat – or possibly enhance his bargaining position if a three-way race suddenly puts the New Jersey seat in play in November. His trial is expected to last at least through the end of June.

The deadline for independent candidates to withdraw from the race without appearing on the ballot is August 16, giving him plently of time to make a final decision.

It’s not clear how many people are helping Menendez, if any.

As Menendez reportedly attempts to seek an independent run, one of the challenges he will be faced with is money. The senator was reported to have had “over $8.5 million cash on hand” prior to his indictment.

According to a recent filing with the Federal Election Commission, Menendez was reported to have over $3.5 million.

Jurors at Menendez’s trial, which began on May 13, were reported to have passed around plastic bags with gold bars inside.

Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) conducted a search of Menendez’s home in June 2022, which resulted in the discovery of $486,461 in cash and 13 gold bars, which are worth more than $150,000.

The jurors at the trial were also given a virtual tour of the Menendez home through pictures that were taken during the search.

Menendez has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

Out of the three businessmen, Daibes and Hana have also pleaded not guilty. Uribe has reportedly admitted he assisted Menendez’s wife in purchasing a Mercedes-Benz in order to get the New Jersey senator’s help in “squashing an unrelated state criminal investigation involving his commercial interests,” NJ.com reported.



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