Bob Menendez hires Hunter Biden’s attorney to defend him on bribery charges

New Jersey Democrat is accused of taking bribes in exchange for using his influence to help three businessmen

John Bowden
Washington DC
Tuesday 26 September 2023 19:10 BST
Menendez claims cash found at home came from his ‘old-fashioned’ savings account

Senator Bob Menendez has retained the services of a top criminal defence attorney who is also representing Hunter Biden as he fights his second corruption case as a sitting member of Congress.

Abbe Lowell, who previously represented Mr Menendez when he was charged with bribery and fraud in 2018, was revealed as Mr Menendez’s attorney by prosecutors in a statement to media outlets over the weekend. The Independent has reached out to Mr Lowell for confirmation.

The New Jersey senator faces very similar allegations this time around. He is accused of aiding three New Jersey businessmen by seeking the appointment of a prosecutor who would supposedly be influenced into dropping criminal charges against one of their allies, and using his position in other ways to both enrich the men and benefit the government of Egypt; Mr Menendez was previously chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

He has denied the charges, and vowed to remain in office amid a growing wave of his own Democratic colleagues calling for him to step down to preserve the public image of the Senate.

“I firmly believe that when all the facts are presented, not only will I be exonerated, but I still will be New Jersey’s senior senator,” he told reporters at a Monday news conference.

Some Republicans, who face the baggage of one of their own in the House also facing criminal charges, have argued that the senator should be allowed to stay in office.

Mr Menendez still retains the support of Senate Democratic leadership, but on Tuesday the number of senators calling for his ouster grew exponentially. It remains unclear if he will be able to effectively run for re-election next year given his dwindling support and the fact that at least one sitting member of the New Jersey delegation has declared an intent to run against him in the Democratic primary.

Hunter Biden, the president’s adult son, is charged with crimes related to unpaid taxes and his alleged deception while attempting to purchase a gun. The younger Biden was known to have been seeking a plea deal with prosecutors, but the agreement’s collapse has left his legal fate in limbo.

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