The Wall Street Journal reports that prosecutors are currently considering whether or not to bring criminal charges against U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ).
The outlet reports, "The Justice Department is weighing possible charges against Sen. Bob Menendez after a yearslong public-corruption probe, according to people familiar with the matter."
The Journal goes on to report that, thus far, no "final decision" on whether or not to prosecute Menendez has been made.
The Journal also reports that "details about any potential criminal charges couldn’t be learned." In other words, it is unclear what crimes authorities are considering charging Menendez with.
For some time now, Menendez and his wife, Nadine Arslanian, have been the subjects of a federal government investigation that is being led by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.
The pair are being investigated for at least two different things. The Daily Caller reports:
Prosecutors are seeking to determine whether Menendez and Arslanian accepted gifts in exchange for political favors . . . Another target of the investigation is a contract between an Egyptian-American businessman and Egypt for halal exports that enabled the businessman to become the sole certifier of U.S. halal meat exported to Egypt.
Menendez insists that he has done nothing wrong.
Back in April, during an appearance on CNN, Menedez attempted to defend himself against the allegations of wrongdoing by citing his record. He said:
If anyone looks at my history on Egypt, they would know that by both denying aid to Egypt, denying arms sales to Egypt, criticizing its human-rights record, I am not in a position to be helpful to anyone as it relates to Egypt.
What is not helping Menendez's defense is the fact that this is not his first run-in with the law. In 2015, he faced charges for an alleged bribery scheme. The trial, however, ended with a mistrial, and he was not subsequently retried.
In the coming weeks, meetings are expected to take place between prosecutors and Menendez's legal team.
The Journal explains:
Late-stage meetings with the Justice Department typically come after prosecutors believe they have developed the evidence they need to bring charges. The meetings give defense lawyers an opportunity to present reasons why the government shouldn’t charge their client.
We'll see how those meetings go.
In the meantime, Menendez continues to insist that he is innocent of any wrongdoing.
"As stated previously, the senator remains confident this matter will be successfully resolved," Menendez's spokesperson said.