The allegedly corrupt Robert Menendez (Mariam Zuhaib/AP)
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To say U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) has been a thorn in the side of the firearm industry would be an understatement. The gun-controlling politician has railed for stricter gun control, called for bans on entire classes of firearms, taken money from gun control groups to advance the gun ban agenda and has done all he could to undo the export reforms for the firearm industry to reduce redundancies and regulatory costs associated with export licensing, while increasing national security.

America might now have a better insight as to why Sen. Menendez wanted more control over those exports.

Serious Corruption Charges

Sen. Menendez, along with his wife Nadine Arslanian and several executives, was indicted by the Department of Justice (DOJ) for a corrupt bribery scheme. Sen. Menendez was charged with accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in cash, gold bars, a Mercedes-Benz C-300 convertible and home mortgage payments. Those payments were allegedly in exchange for the senator using his position to grease the skids for businesses and the government of Egypt between 2018 and 2022.

He’s also charged with promising to disrupt a criminal investigation and prosecution related to one businessman, and the senator recommended President Joe Biden’s nominee for U.S. Attorney for New Jersey be someone “who Menendez believed could be influenced by Menendez” regarding the prosecution of one of the businessmen he was allegedly involved in the corruption scheme.

The FBI reportedly discovered more than $480,000 in cash in Sen. Menendez’s home while executing a search warrant in June 2022, “much of it stuffed into envelopes and hidden in clothing, closets, and a safe.” Agents found envelopes of cash inside jackets bearing the Senate symbol and Sen. Menendez’s name.

The senator and his wife were charged with conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and conspiracy to commit extortion. The charges allege Sen. Menendez took bribes to benefit the businesses and the Egyptian government, “including with respect to foreign military sales and foreign military financing,” over which the senator has oversight as the Senate Foreign Relations Chairman, and Ranking Member previously.

Sen. Menendez allegedly provided non-public information to intermediary businesses, after which one businessman texted an Egyptian official stating, “The ban on small arms and ammunition to Egypt has been lifted. That means sales can begin. That will include sniper rifles among other articles.”

Gun Control for Thee…

Ironically, Sen. Menendez introduced legislation to prevent arms sales to human rights abusers. S. 1025 would increase Congress’ role in reviewing arms exports. That’s even as the State Department noted significant human rights issues in Egypt in a 2022 report.

Human Rights Watch, a watchdog group, reported that Egypt’s government was responsible for nationwide repression and causing one of the country’s worst human rights crises in many decades. He even signed a letter in September to President Joe Biden urging him to reverse the USML-CCL reforms, claiming, “The State Department is also better equipped than Commerce to assess the human rights and security impact of arms exports.”

Senator Robert Menendez
U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

This might explain why Sen. Menendez despised those firearm export reforms that were finalized under the Trump administration. Those are the U.S. Munitions List to Commerce Control List reforms that transferred licensing of small arms exports from the State Department, over which Sen. Menendez had control, to the Commerce Department. The reforms streamlined the export process, removing duplicative processes but also raised the bar for ensuring end-user checks were vetted before any export could leave the United States.

This isn’t the first time Sen. Menendez has been charged with corruption. A bribery trial in 2017 involved a wealthy Florida eye doctor accused of buying Sen. Menendez’s influence by providing him with luxury vacations and campaign contributions. The judge in that case declared a mistrial after the jury was hopelessly deadlocked after more than six days of deliberations. It is worth noting he was not exonerated of those charges. The DOJ declined to retry him.


Sen. Menendez remains defiant. Due to Senate Democratic Caucus rules, he was forced to resign his position as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, but he has said he “is going nowhere” and promises to run for re-election. He retained Abbe Lowell, the lawyer representing Hunter Biden in his tax and firearm cases, to tackle his own federal corruption charges in court. Pressure is building on Sen. Menendez to walk away from the Senate altogether.

New Jersey Phil Murphy gun stores
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

New Jersey’s Gov. Phil Murphy has called on Sen. Menendez to resign. This isn’t because Gov. Murphy has suddenly become a critic of New Jersey’s senior senator. He’s concerned that the corruption scandal could cost antigun politicians a reliable seat.

If Sen. Menendez were to resign, Gov. Murphy could appoint a new senator to serve the remainder of his term, which expires in January 2025. He has already gained a primary challenge from U.S. Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.). The New York Post reported that New Jersey Republicans are closely watching developments.

The charges are serious and Sen. Menendez will have his day in court to defend against the charges. The firearm industry, which he has used as a political punching bag, is very interested in learning just how gold bars ended up in his home, stacks of cash in his suit coats and why he was so adamant that all firearm exports be run through his committee.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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  1. Yes, the charges are serious. Seriously distracting from the real criminals in the White House and the treason therein. It’s NJ. He will be tried and exonerated by the paid off jurors. It’s how they roll. Nuttin’ to see here. move along

    • “The FBI reportedly discovered more than $480,000 in cash in Sen. Menendez’s home while executing a search warrant in June 2022

      There’s a reason for all things. This is a distraction, plus Menendez is expendable. The Gov would get to appoint a more radical senator.

  2. This is my surprised face. See my surprised face?

    (In my best British vintage snobbery accent) “Shocked, I say!”

  3. Bobby Menendez’s greatest crime was not kicking 10% up to the “Big Guy”, he’ll regret that faux pas.

    • Ho hum…in ILLANNOY over 50 years ago we had a secretary of state named Paul Powell. Died in 1970. $750000 in cash found stashed in his house & a shoebox with $50000 in uncashed checks. Made out to “Paul Powell Illinois secretary of state”. A Dim of course🙄

      • Still not the scale with Chinese corruption where a party official was found with 11 tons of cash in his house, along with artworks, gold bars, jewelry, and a lot of other valuables.

        Some are definitely more equal than others.

    • He’s a Latino. He has PTSD from his ancestors being persecuted in Cuba. Seriously. That was the best lie he could come up with on short notice.

  4. He has outlived his usefulness to the regime. He has always been corrupt. But he served his purpose, and they looked the other way.. The regime needs as many distractions as possible, because of the impending impeachment of President Biden by the Republicans.

    • I agree. It isn’t like they’ll be fighting for another Democrat to win in NJ. They’re ready to appoint a more radical dem. This wouldn’t be happening if he was in a purple state with a Republican governor.

      • Like it or not, the republicans are known for being the morality Police. And the democrats/libertarians are not known for being the morality police.

        That is why Seattle Portland San Francisco and Newark/Camden New Jersey are the way they are.

        Morality has very little to do with sex. The people there don’t believe in private property rights. It is legal to steal in those cities and many others like them.

  5. Gotta say I wonder if there were any firearms seized on his property, and if they were NJ compliant. It’d be a shame if he had some hollow points or hi capacity mags or a gun he shouldn’t……..

    When Mike Madigan had his office raided and guns seized I asked for an inventory via FOIA request. Naturally THAT was denied. I imagine they were all compliant anyways. :shrug:

    Regardless, if he’s guilty I hope he rots. People like him pushing for gun control while using it to line their pockets are a prime example of why it’s bad.

    • Only if you are a politician, though it seems to be more of a requirement for Democrats especially ones from NJ.

  6. The funny part is, Menendez said he kept the cash and gold at his house because he feared government confiscation. He’s a high level senator who knows things we don’t. I thought being afraid of government confiscation meant you were a crazy conspiracy theorist? Hmm…

  7. This senator is a disgusting piece of human offal…

    You’ve been in Congress way too long and a thorn in the side of 2A supporters. Adios!!!

  8. I would find it interesting what could be found hiding in any politicians property. The exuses would be abundant.

  9. NO. The REAL story is how the corrupt FBI/Dept of “Justice” made the search MORE THAN A YEAR AGO. No gestapo style 0200 raid. No TV networks noified to film the 40 FBI thugs in 50 black SUVs/MRAPs arriving. Curious, no?

    But not charged in SEPT2023 when Joey Obiden is on the ropes with the proles. No prog politics here, move along boy.

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