Federal prosecutors are reportedly investigating whether Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and his wife accepted gifts from a meat business worth potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for any actions taken by Menendez as a senator.
NBC News reported that investigators are looking to see if the gifts — which include a Mercedes-Benz, a luxury apartment in the expensive D.C. area, cash, and jewelry — came from the owner or associates of IS EG Halal.
In 2019, the halal meat business won an exclusive contract to become the sole company responsible for certifying halal exports from Egypt. U.S. officials viewed the situation as suspicious due to how such a large contract was awarded to a company with “little prior experience.”
The Egyptian government immediately fired seven other “longtime companies across the globe” once IS EG Halal won the contract, causing those companies to lose out on millions, the report said. The firm is reportedly “run by a Christian with little prior experience in Islamic certification of international meat imports and exports.”
Menendez is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which puts him in charge of billions of dollars in aid to Egypt.
IRS criminal investigators are also reviewing to see if Menendez and his wife reported the gifts on their tax filings, the report said. He did not report the items on his Senate disclosure forms.
Peter Paradis, the former deputy assistant inspector general at the USDA, said Egypt giving the exclusive contract to IS EG Halal and canceling the other contracts “defies logic.”
“This corporation has no track record of doing these types of certifications — and yet the country in question earmarks them as the sole entity to perform that task?” Paradis said.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE DAILYWIRE+ APP
The company and the senator maintain that they have done nothing wrong.
The report said that federal prosecutors are looking to see if anyone connected to the company paid any kind of a bribe to Egyptian officials, which would potentially violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The criminal investigation has expanded in recent weeks after powerful North Bergen Democrat Mayor Nicholas Sacco was recently subpoenaed. The subpoena sought information about “certain legislative changes in New Jersey” related to a proposed development deal.
In 2015, Menendez was indicted on bribery charges for allegedly accepting “luxury vacations, golf outings, campaign donations and expensive flights” from Florida physician Salomon Melgen in exchange for political favors. A federal jury in Florida convicted Melgen in April of “67 charges for operating what prosecutors called a massive scheme that robbed Medicare out of as much as $105 million,” the Palm Beach Post reported.
Prosecutors began investigating Menendez when they were tipped off in 2012 that Menendez was allegedly having sex with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic.
The jury was split in the trial and a mistrial was declared.