Facing a three-count federal indictment on bribery charges, Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., has rehired Hunter Biden lawyer Abbe Lowell, according to reports.
Lowell was Menendez's attorney for his first corruption trial in 2015, which ended in a mistrial, and now he returns to Menendez's team amid the three-count indictment that lists a series of bribes they were allegedly paid by three New Jersey businessmen in exchange for gold bars, a luxury car, and cash.
Menendez, his wife, and their co-defendants will appear in a Manhattan federal court Wednesday. The senator plans to address his future in a news conference Monday in Hudson County, New Jersey, sources told CNBC.
Lowell served as Menendez's attorney in 2015 when he allegedly accepted illegal gifts from a Florida ophthalmologist, but a hung jury led to the case being dropped.
Lowell is serving as Hunter Biden's attorney on gun charges, but he has also helped get acquitted Matthew Grimes, who had ties to former President Donald Trump supporter Tom Barrack. Lowell also helped Jared Kushner get approval on White House security clearance.
Lowell and Menendez did not respond to CNBC's requests for comment.
"I am not going anywhere," a defiant Menendez said in a statement after Friday's indictment.
He is accused of using his position as chair of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee to aid the authoritarian government of Egypt and also to pressure federal prosecutors to drop a case against a friend.
Authorities who searched Menendez's home last year found more than $100,000 worth of gold bars, as well as over $480,000 in cash — much of it hidden in closets, clothing, and a safe, prosecutors say.
The indictment includes photos of cash stuffed in envelopes in jackets bearing Menendez's name and of a luxury car that prosecutors say was given to the couple as a bribe from the businessmen.
Prosecutors say Menendez directly interfered in criminal investigations, including by pushing to install a federal prosecutor in New Jersey he believed could be influenced in a criminal case against a businessman and associate of the senator. He also tried to use his position of power to try to meddle in a separate criminal investigation by the New Jersey Attorney General's office, the indictment says.
Other accusations include repeated actions by Menendez to benefit Egypt despite U.S. government misgivings over the country's human rights record that in recent years have prompted Congress to attach restrictions on aid.
His efforts include ghostwriting a letter to fellow senators encouraging them to lift a hold on $300 million in aid to Egypt, one of the top recipients of U.S. government support, as well as transmitting nonpublic information to Egyptian officials through communications with the businessmen.
Menendez responded there was an "active smear campaign" against him.
"For years, forces behind the scenes have repeatedly attempted to silence my voice and dig my political grave," he said in a statement.
David Schertler, a lawyer for Menendez's wife, Nadine, said she "denies any criminal conduct and will vigorously contest these charges in court."
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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