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Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., is seen after the senate luncheons in the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, January 23, 2024. 

Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

New obstruction of justice crimes were added Tuesday to charges against Sen. Bob Menendez and his wife that allege they accepted gold bars, cash and a luxury car in return for favors the senator carried out to assist three businessmen.

The new charges were in a rewritten indictment returned against the Democrat in Manhattan federal court.

New charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice were added against Menendez and his wife, Nadine. Attorneys for Bob and Nadine Menendez and the other defendants in the case didn’t immediately respond to emails requesting comment.

An indictment already alleges that the couple conspired with three businessmen to accept the bribes in return for the senator’s help in projects pursued by the businessmen. Both have pleaded not guilty, along with two of the businessmen. A May trial has been scheduled.

One businessman pleaded guilty to charges last week and agreed to testify at trial against the others.

After his fall arrest, Menendez, 70, was forced to relinquish his chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee but said he would not resign from Congress.

According to an indictment, Menendez and his wife accepted gold bars and cash from a real estate developer in return for the senator using his clout to get that businessman a multimillion-dollar deal with a Qatari investment fund.

Menendez also was charged with helping another New Jersey business associate get a lucrative deal with the government of Egypt.

Among the new allegations, prosecutors say that Menendez caused his then-attorney to meet with prosecutors last June and September to say that the senator had been unaware until 2022 of a $23,000 payment that one of the businessmen had made to the company holding the mortgage on the Menendez’s New Jersey home or the money that another defendant had paid toward a Mercedes-Benz convertible.

Prosecutors allege that Menendez also caused his lawyer to say in the September meeting that Menendez in 2022 had learned that the payments were loans.

The prosecutors wrote that Menendez knew and “had learned of both the mortgage company payment and the car payments prior to 2022, and they were not loans, but bribe payments.”

Prosecutors also said in the rewritten indictment that Nadine Menendez caused her lawyer to tell prosecutors last August that the mortgage payment and payments for the convertible were loans when she knew they were bribe payments.

The new charges allege that the couple was trying to obstruct justice in the weeks before they were charged last September with a variety of crimes.

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