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September 26, 2023

Gold Bar Bob Digs in for a Fight

The New Jersey senator is facing some serious and almost comical bribery charges, but Beltway justice tends to favor Democrats.

Out of nowhere on Friday, like finding a fiver in the laundry, came news of the indictment of Senator Bob Menendez. And what an indictment it was. Gold bars, gobs of cash, luxury cars, the works.

A longtime New Jersey Democrat and the Garden State’s senior senator, Menendez was indicted, along with his wife, Nadine, on bribery charges. As we noted Friday, the two are accused of engaging “in a corrupt relationship” with Fred Daibes, a New Jersey developer and former bank chairman, and two of Daibes’s associates, Wael Hana and Jose Uribe. Team Menendez allegedly accepted “hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes in exchange for using Menendez’s power and influence as a senator to protect and enrich Hana, Uribe, and Daibes and to benefit the Arab Republic of Egypt.”

The details would make Joe and Hunter Biden blush. As The Wall Street Journal reports:

During a search of Menendez’s home in June 2022, investigators discovered over $480,000 in cash — much of it stuffed into envelopes and hidden in a safe, closets and clothing, including a jacket emblazoned with the Senate logo, according to the indictment. Over $70,000 was found in his wife’s safe-deposit box, prosecutors said. Some of the envelopes contained the fingerprints or DNA of … Daibes, or the businessman’s driver.

Federal agents also found gold bars, home furnishings and a Mercedes-Benz convertible worth more than $60,000 that the senator and his wife received as part of the scheme, prosecutors said. Some of the gold bars had serial numbers that indicated Daibes previously possessed them, and the senator at one point performed a Google search to find out how much one kilo of gold was worth, according to the indictment.

This marks the second time Menendez, 69, has been indicted, which, we think, is an all-time record for a U.S. senator. A couple more indictments — especially of the weak and purely politically variety — ought to make him the runaway favorite for the Democrat nomination for president. In the senator’s first indictment in 2015, federal prosecutors say he took around $1 million to help an ophthalmologist buddy with his Medicare-billing disputes and some visa applications for his, er, girlfriends. But a funny thing happened on the way to the hoosegow: The jury hung, the judge declared a mistrial, and the DOJ ultimately dropped the case.

Gold Bar Bob is innocent, he’ll have you know — and that’s technically true. In this country, he enjoys that presumption. He says he was the victim of “an active smear campaign of anonymous sources and innuendos to create an air of impropriety where none exists.”

He’s got a point here. There’s nothing improper — near as we can tell — about having wads of cash stuffed into every nook and cranny in one’s house. “The excesses of these prosecutors is apparent,” Menendez said in a written statement. “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.”

It sounds like the feds really brought the heat, no? Just imagine if they actually paid as much attention to Joe Biden’s bribery scheme as they clearly did to this guy’s fiscal indiscretions. All in due time, though. The walls have been closing in on our corrupt president, and given his alarmingly bad poll numbers of late, it’s only a matter of time before the Democrats and the deep state give him the gate.

Yesterday, as the New York Post reports, Menendez played the “Cuba” card, claiming that he kept those piles of cash in his house because he is the son of Cuban immigrants. Oh, of course. “For 30 years, I have withdrawn thousands of dollars in cash from my personal savings account, which I have kept for emergencies, and because of the history of my family facing confiscation in Cuba,” Menendez said at a presser in his hometown of Union City.

Actually, Menendez was born in the U.S., and his folks left Cuba around five years before the commie Castro regime came to power and began confiscating stuff, but those are just details. He’s Cuban, he’ll have you know. And besides, doesn’t everyone keep wads of cash stuffed into their clothing back home?

In any case, Menendez has lawyered up smartly, tapping Abbe Lowell, the same attorney who’s defending Hunter Biden, to represent him, just as he did in the senator’s previous corruption case. Needless to say, Lowell is going to be a busy man in the weeks and months ahead. But given our nation’s system of two-tiered justice, he’s probably feeling pretty sanguine about his chances of convincing at least one juror that those gold bars and all that cash are much ado about nothing.

Menendez is up for reelection next year, and New Jersey Democrat Congressman Andy Kim has announced that he’ll mount a primary challenge for the senator’s seat. So far, though, only two of Menendez’s Democrat colleagues are calling on him to resign: Pennsylvania’s Hoodie Fetterman and Ohio’s Sherrod Brown. But Menendez did agree to step down from his chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, so there’s that. For his part, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin said that the charges against Menendez were “very serious” but, in a weird non sequitur, said that the indictments against former President Donald Trump were also “equally serious charges.”

Speaking of Donald Trump, his political fortunes seem pretty good at the moment, especially for a guy facing 91 politically motivated criminal counts. And speaking of the Democrats, their political fortunes seem somewhat inversely proportional to Trump’s, so it might not be a bad time for Republicans to start thinking about retaking the Senate in 2024.

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