Embattled Sen Bob Menendez files to run for re-election as independent candidate

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., has filed a petition with nearly 2,500 signatures to run for re-election as an independent, despite being on trial for federal bribery charges.The New Jersey Division of Elections lists Menendez as a candidate in the Nov. 5 election after he submitted a petition with 2,465 signatures. To make it onto the ballot, Menendez was required to collect 800 signatures.Menendez has served three terms as a senator and is now seeking a fourth.After much speculation over whether Menendez would run for re-election – given the various criminal charges he faces of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, bribery, acting as a foreign agent, extortion and honest services fraud – he revealed in March that he would not be filing for the Democrat Senate primary.REPUBLICANS SEE EMBATTLED MENENDEZ’S POTENTIAL INDEPENDENT BID AS CHANCE TO FLIP SENATE SEATInstead, Menendez announced at the same time his desire to run as an independent if he is exonerated during his summer trial.He did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment on his bid for re-election.Menendez and his wife, Nadine, have both pleaded not guilty to bribery and obstruction of justice charges. They are accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in the form of cash, gold bars and a Mercedes-Benz for the benefit of various business persons and the Egyptian government.The senator’s trial kicked off in May.SEN BOB MENENDEZ MAY BLAME WIFE NADINE DURING FEDERAL CORRUPTION TRIAL: COURT DOCSJurors will be expected to discern whether evidence against Menendez and two New Jersey businessmen, Fred Daibes and Wael Hana, shows they were part of a bribery scheme, including meddling in criminal investigations and taking actions benefiting the governments of Egypt and Qatar. All three have pleaded not guilty. Co-defendant Jose Uribe has pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against the other defendants. A trial for the senator’s wife is delayed until at least July for health reasons. This is the second time in a decade that Menendez has been accused in a federal corruption case. SEN MENENDEZ CHARGED WITH OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE IN ANOTHER SUPERSEDING INDICTMENTMenendez was charged by federal prosecutors with obstruction of justice in another superseding indictment unsealed in March relating to a multiyear alleged bribery scheme involving the Egypt and Qatar governments.The 18-page indictment is wrapped into Menendez’s existing charges already against him and his co-defendants – including his wife, Nadine – for allegedly acting as a foreign agent and accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to benefit the Egyptian government through his power and influence as a senator.The indictment comes after Uribe accepted the plea deal and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. The charges also alleged Menendez committed conspiracy, bribery, acting as a foreign agent, extortion and wire fraud.Earlier in April, Nadine’s attorneys requested to postpone her trial after an “unexpected medical development” arose. She was diagnosed with a “serious medical condition” on April 9, her lawyers said.Republicans in New Jersey welcomed the embattled senator’s potential independent re-election bid in 2024 as they look to break the party’s decades-long hold over the state’s U.S. Senate delegation.Fox News Digital’s Julia Johnson and Jamie Joseph contributed to this report.
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