Monday 25 September 2023

Sen. Bob Menendez Hires Hunter Biden’s Lawyer For Bribery Defense

 Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez has hired Hunter Biden’s lawyer to defend him from the bribery charges leveled by federal prosecutors on Friday.

Menendez hired Abbe Lowell, partner at Winston & Strawn LLP, as Lowell defends Hunter Biden from gun charges and the ongoing Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into alleged tax offenses, a spokesperson for the prosecutor told CNBC

Federal prosecutors from the Southern District of New York indicted Menendez and his wife, Nadine, on Friday for taking bribes to guide U.S. foreign policy in Egypt’s favor and support his business partners, according to the indictment.

“Those bribes included cash, gold, payments toward a home mortgage, compensation for a low-or-no-show job, a luxury vehicle, and other things of value,” the indictment states. “Over $480,000 in cash — much of it stuffed into envelopes and hidden in clothing, closets, and a safe — was discovered in the home.”

Menendez accused prosecutors of making false statements and misrepresenting his work in a Friday statement released soon after the indictment was announced.

“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,” Menendez said.

“They have misrepresented the normal work of a Congressional office. On top of that, not content with making false claims against me, they have attacked my wife for the longstanding friendships she had before she and I even met,” he added.

Menendez released a second statement defending himself in response to numerous Democratic lawmakers who called for his resignation. The senator is expected to announce his reelection bid in a Monday press conference, the New York Post reported.

Hunter Biden was indicted on Sept. 14 for three counts related to his October 2018 purchase of a Colt Cobra revolver while he was allegedly addicted to crack cocaine. Lowell said in a court filing that Hunter Biden will plead not guilty to the gun charge. 

The younger Biden pleaded not guilty to two tax misdemeanors in July after his plea deal with the DOJ fell apart in court. Delaware U.S. District Court Judge Maryellen Noreika scrutinized an immunity provision tucked into a pretrial diversion agreement for Hunter Biden’s felony gun charge, resulting in a dispute between Biden’s defense counsel and DOJ special attorney Leo Wise.

Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss special counsel in August after Biden’s plea deal fell apart and two IRS whistleblowers accused DOJ investigators of giving Hunter Biden special treatment. Weiss filed a motion to withdraw Biden’s tax charges to potentially charge him for alleged tax offenses in D.C. or the Central District of California and Noreika granted his request.

The House Ways and Means, Oversight and Judiciary Committees continue to investigate the IRS whistleblower allegations alongside House Oversight’s probe into Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings. The committees will be leading the House’s impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden beginning with a Sept. 28th hearing.

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