“Over the last two years, many of us have grappled with a very difficult question about our President,” Menendez said on the Senate floor in February 2019. “It’s a question that never before could we even imagine thinking about an American president, let alone saying aloud on the floor of the Senate.
“I’m talking about the entirely legitimate question of whether Donald Trump could be compromised by the Russian government.”
Menendez continued, “It’s more than a legitimate question — it’s the natural question that comes to mind every time we learn more about the links between president trump, his associates, and the Russian government.”
Menendez made a lengthy speech outlining allegations against Trump and said that the possibility of corruption “keeps me up at night.”
On Friday, Menendez was federally indicted on bribery offenses that alleged the senator and his wife took bribes of cash, gold bars and a luxury car for a range of corrupt acts, including having the Democrat use his influence over foreign affairs to benefit the authoritarian government of Egypt.
A search of the couple’s home turned up $100,000 in gold bars and $480,000 in hidden cash, said prosecutors, who announced the charges against the 69-year-old Democrat nearly six years after an earlier criminal case against him ended with a deadlocked jury.
“For years, forces behind the scenes have repeatedly attempted to silence my voice and dig my political grave,” Menendez said Friday in a press release. “Since this investigation was leaked nearly a year ago, there has been an active smear campaign of anonymous sources and innuendos to create an air of impropriety where none exists.”
“To my supporters, friends and the community at large, I ask that you recall the other times the prosecutors got it wrong and that you reserve judgment. I am confident that this matter will be successfully resolved once all of the facts are presented and my fellow New Jerseyans will see this for what it is.”
In April, Menendez established a legal defense fund to help pay for tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees relating to the federal criminal probe.
Fox News Digital’s Joe Schoffstall and The Associated Press contributed to this report.