Federal prosecutors have rewritten their indictment against U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and his wife to charge them with conspiring to have him act as an agent of Egypt and Egyptian officials.
The superseding indictment, filed in Manhattan federal court on Thursday, accuses Menendez of violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires people to register with the U.S. government if they are acting as “an agent of a foreign principal.” As a member of Congress, Menendez was prohibited from being an agent of a foreign government, even if he did register as one.
Messages left with Menendez’s Senate staff and attorney on Thursday were not immediately answered.
The indictment says the conspiracy occurred from January 2018 to June 2022. It alleges that in May 2019, Menendez, his wife and a business associate, Wael Hana, met with an Egyptian intelligence official in Menendez’s Senate office in Washington. During the meeting, they discussed an American citizen who was seriously injured in a 2015 airstrike by the Egyptian military using a U.S.-made Apache helicopter, the indictment says.
Some members of Congress objected to awarding certain military aid to Egypt over that episode and the perception by certain lawmakers that the Egyptian government was not willing to fairly compensate the injured American citizen, according to the indictment.
Shortly after the meeting in Washington, the Egyptian official texted Hana that if Menendez helped resolve the matter, “he will sit very comfortably.” Hana replied: “Orders, consider it done,” the indictment says.