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Senator Menendez ‘Sold the Power of His Office,’ Prosecutor Says

LocalSenator Menendez ‘Sold the Power of His Office,’ Prosecutor Says

“Mr. Menendez sold the power of his office,” he said.

The prosecutor’s closing statement came as the trial of Mr. Menendez, 70, and the two businessmen — Wael Hana and Fred Daibes — entered its ninth week in Federal District Court in Manhattan. Prosecutors say Mr. Hana and Mr. Daibes were enriched in the scheme and helped to funnel bribes to the senator and his wife, Nadine Menendez, 57.

In exchange, the indictment says, Mr. Menendez steered aid and weapons to Egypt, used his political clout to help the government of Qatar, propped up Mr. Hana’s lucrative halal certification business monopoly and sought to disrupt several criminal investigations in New Jersey on behalf of Mr. Daibes, a real estate developer, and another ally, Jose Uribe, a former insurance broker.

Mr. Menendez alone faces 16 felony charges: bribery, conspiracy, honest services fraud, obstruction of justice, extortion, acting as an agent for Egypt and other counts.

Ever since he was charged last year, Mr. Menendez has proclaimed his innocence, saying he would be exonerated and had no intention of resigning.

The senator’s colleagues in Washington are waiting warily for a verdict in his trial. A conviction would create tremendous pressure on him to resign, or for his fellow senators to hold an expulsion vote. If he is found not guilty or the jury cannot reach a verdict, Mr. Menendez, a Democrat, has said he will run for re-election as an independent, potentially hurting his own party’s candidate, Representative Andy Kim, in November.

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