A search of the home of Senator Bob Menendez and his wife turned up $100,000 in gold bars and $480,000 in hidden cash, federal prosecutors said.
Menendez, the chair of the Senate committee on foreign relations, had previously been charged in New Jersey with accepting private flights, campaign contributions and other bribes from a wealthy patron in exchange for official favors, but a 2017 trial ended in a jury deadlock.
The federal government now seeks the forfeiture of assets including the couple’s New Jersey home, a 2019 Mercedez-Benz vehicle, about $566,000 in cash, gold bars and funds from a bank account.
Joe Biden has told Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy that the US will provide a small number of long-range missiles to help in Ukraine’s fight against Russia, three US officials and a congressional official told NBC News on Friday.
The officials did not confirm when the missiles would be delivered and remain anonymous as they have not been authorised to speak on the subject publicly.
A congressional official told NBC News that there was still a debate about the type of missile that would be sent and how many would be delivered to Ukraine.
The news comes after the White House rejected Zelenskiy’s request for Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) to be sent to Ukraine as part of a new military aid package to bolster the country’s counteroffensive.
For all the developments in the Ukrainian counteroffensive against Russia’s invasion and related geopolitics, follow our Ukraine live blog here.
United Auto Workers president Shawn Fain filed a labor complaint against Republican presidential candidate and South Carolina senator, Tim Scott, over comments regarding the strike.
The complaint filed to the national labor relations board came after Scott on Monday criticized the strike against the Big Three automakers and suggested striking workers should be fired. When asked about the strike at a campaign event on Monday, Scott replied:
I think Ronald Reagan gave us a great example when federal employees decided they were going to strike. He said, ‘You strike, you’re fired.’ Simple concept to me, to the extent that we can use that once again.
Under the National Labor Relations Act, anyone can file a charge against an employer or a labor organization if they believe rights have been violated.
The mayor of one of the largest US cities announced he is leaving the Democratic party and becoming a Republican.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal, said his decision was because “the future of America’s great urban centers depends on the willingness of the nation’s mayors to champion law and order and practice fiscal conservatism”.
Our cities desperately need the genuine commitment to these principles (as opposed to the inconsistent, poll-driven commitment of many Democrats) that has long been a defining characteristic of the GOP.
In other words, American cities need Republicans – and Republicans need American cities.
Supreme court justice Clarence Thomas’s involvement as a potential fundraising draw is part of a decades-long personal relationship with the influential Koch brothers that has remained almost entirely out of public view.
The relationship was apparently nurtured during regular trips to the Bohemian Grove, a secretive all-men’s retreat in northern California, where Thomas stayed with the real estate magnate Harlan Crow and the Koch siblings, according to records and people who have spent time with him there, reported ProPublica.
Friday’s report is the latest in a string of exposés into the personal and financial ties between Thomas and rich benefactors, many of whom are donors to rightwing causes.
ProPublica has previously revealed undeclared links to Crow including luxury holidays and travel; a real estate sale which benefited Thomas’s mother; and school fees paid for his grand nephew. In a statement earlier this year, confirmed that Crow is a close friend with whom he has taken “family trips” and has argued that he was not required to disclose the free vacations.
As it stands, Thomas will be on the bench when the conservative super-majority supreme court hears a Koch-backed case that seeks to strip federal agencies of their power to make rules on the environment, labor rights and consumer protection among other issues.
If the Koch network’s attorneys win the case, it would undo decades of legal precedent and have a profound impact on the health and safety of ordinary Americans’ lives – and the ability of the government to tackle the climate emergency.
The conservative justice Clarence Thomas has attended at least two donor events organized by the Koch network, the ultra-right political organization founded by the libertarian billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, which has brought multiple cases before the supreme court, according to the latest revelations by ProPublica on the judge, his friends and financial disclosures.
Thomas was brought in to speak at the fundraising events in the hope that access to one of the most senior and right-leaning judges on the supreme court would encourage the network’s wealthy donors to keep giving, three former Koch network employees and one major donor told the non-profit investigative news outlet.
In one case, the 75-year-old justice traveled to a weekend event in Palm Springs, California, in January 2018 on a private jet, which he never reported on his annual financial disclosure form, in an apparent violation of federal law requiring justices to report most gifts, according to ProPublica.
Shawn Fain, the UAW’s president, rebuffed Donald Trump’s ostensibly union-friendly posture, saying in an issued statement:
Every fibre of our union is being poured into fighting the billionaire class and an economy that enriches people like Donald Trump at the expense of workers.
Crucially, however, the UAW has yet to endorse Biden’s re-election bid, despite the president’s labour-friendly posture and his vocal support for the union’s demands – giving Republicans leeway to make inroads with its members.
Bullishly heading the Republican charge is Donald Trump, who has made clear his intention to woo UAW members by scheduling a keynote speech in Detroit next week – the symbolic heartland of the US motor industry and near the site of the strike-hit Ford plant in Dearborn.
He will address 500 workers and union members from a range of industries – including carworkers – in a bid to reclaim the level of working-class support that enabled him to carry Michigan in his 2016 presidential victory over Hillary Clinton, before losing the state in his 2020 defeat to Joe Biden.
Next Tuesday’s event will be timed to coincide with the second Republican primary debate in California, which he is deliberately skipping to shield his presumed status as the party’s anointed nominee-in-waiting.
For his part, Biden has clearly sided with the union’s demands and urged management to share more of their companies’ record profits with the workforce.
A strike pitting a resurgent trade union against the US’s three biggest carmakers has exposed key differences in labour relations among Republicans – even while animating their assault on Joe Biden’s self-styled “Bidenomics” policies.
Led by Donald Trump, the former president and 2024 party frontrunner, Republican hopefuls have seized on the stoppage by 13,000 United Auto Workers (UAW) members at General Motors, Ford and Stellantis production facilities in Missouri, Michigan and Ohio to highlight rumbling economic discontent as a catalyst to recapturing the White House.
Republicans – who have attacked unions for decades – believe they stand to gain from a dispute that could seriously test Biden’s claim to be the most pro-labour president in US history.
Yet underlying their conviction is a divide between those professing sympathy for the strikers’ grievances and others who have invoked Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher to suggest that they deserve to be sacked.
Democratic senator Bob Menendez must step down as chair of the Senate foreign relations committee now that he indicted.
Rules for the Senate Democratic caucus say that any member who is charged with a felony must step aside from a leadership position.
Menendez had to step down from his position when he was indicted in 2015. He later resumed the post in 2018 after he was cleared of the charges.
Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey released a statement following the announcement by prosecutors that he and his wife were charged with bribery offenses in connection with accepting “hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes” in exchange for protecting three businessmen and influencing the government of Egypt.
The statement reads:
For years, forces behind the scenes have repeatedly attempted to silence my voice and dig my political grave. Since this investigation was leaked nearly a year ago, there has been an active smear campaign of anonymous sources and innuendos to create an air of impropriety where none exists.
The excesses of these prosecutors is apparent. They have misrepresented the normal work of a Congressional office. On top of that, not content with making false claims against me, they have attacked my wife for the longstanding friendships she had before she and I even met.
Those behind this campaign simply cannot accept that a first-generation Latino American from humble beginnings could rise to be a U.S. Senator and serve with honor and distinction. Even worse, they see me as an obstacle in the way of their broader political goals.
I have been falsely accused before because I refused to back down to the powers that be and the people of New Jersey were able to see through the smoke and mirrors and recognize I was innocent. I have worked every day to repay their trust by fighting to create jobs, strengthen public safety, update infrastructure, and reduce costs for New Jersey families. I have also stood steadfast against dictators around the globe – whether they be in Iran, Cuba, Turkey, or elsewhere – fighting against the forces of appeasement and standing with those who stand for freedom and democracy. I remain focused on continuing this important work and will not be distracted by baseless allegations.
They wrote these charges as they wanted; the facts are not as presented. Prosecutors did that the last time and look what a trial demonstrates. People should remember that before accepting the prosecutor’s version.
To my supporters, friends and the community at large, I ask that you recall the other times the prosecutors got it wrong and that you reserve judgement. I am confident that this matter will be successfully resolved once all of the facts are presented and my fellow New Jerseyans will see this for what it is.
David Schertler, a lawyer for Menendez’s wife, Nadine, said she “denies any criminal conduct and will vigorously contest these charges in court.”
FBI agents searching the New Jersey home of Senator Robert Menendez and his wife discovered approximately $500,000 of cash “stuffed into envelopes and closets”, some of which was “stuffed in the senator’s jacket pockets”, Williams said.
An image included in court documents shows lots of cash and a jacket with the senator’s name on it.
The indictment alleges that after a meeting between Senator Menendez and the Egyptian official, Wael Hana, Hana bought 22 one-ounce gold bars each worth about $1,800.
Investigators later found two of those gold bars when they searched Menendez’s house, according to prosecutors.
Hana and Jose Uribe also allegedly helped the senator’s wife, Nadine Menendez, buy a new Mercedes-Benz convertible if her husband interfered in a New Jersey state prosecution, the indictment said.
The indictment said that after the purchase was complete, Nadine Menendez texted her husband a heart emoji with the words:
Congratulations mon amour de la vie, we are the proud owners of a 2019 Mercedes.