A top Democrat committee accepted thousands of dollars from New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez’s PAC on the same day federal investigators revealed his bribery charges to the public, filings reviewed by Fox News Digital show.
On the morning of Sept. 22, federal investigators unsealed the charges against Menendez, who chaired the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and his wife, Nadine Menendez. The charges included accusations that he benefited from the Egyptian government and engaged in a corrupt scheme alongside Fred Daibes, a New Jersey real estate developer, Wael Hana, who runs a halal meat certification business in the state, and businessman Jose Uribe.
That same day, Menendez’s New Millennium PAC wired a $15,000 contribution to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s (DSCC) recount account, filings show. The DSCC is the primary group that works to elect and sustain Democrats in Congress’s upper chamber.
Menendez’s contributions became a point of contention following his indictment, but the embattled Democrat made those transfers before the announcement. His Sept. 22 contribution to the DSCC is the first known donation to any committee made on the same day or after his charges became public.
It does not appear the DSCC returned the money as of the end of September, which is the latest time covered in the most recent filings. The committee previously received $30,000 from Menendez in recent years but has remained mum on those contributions. They did not respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment on the September donation.
The indictment led to a flurry of Democrats calling for his resignation from the Senate, including DSCC Chair Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan. Peters, however, did not say how he would approach a Menendez run next year, Politico reported.
It also led to other politicians announcing they would part ways with the money Menendez sent to their committees, including Pennsylvania Sens. Bob Casey and John Fetterman and Montana Sen. Jon Tester. Some announced they would return the donations, while others said they would give it to charity.
Three Democrats – Fetterman, Delaware Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester and New Jersey Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman – sent contribution refunds to Menendez’s PAC in late September, a search of Federal Election Commission filings shows.
However, as some were quick to distance themselves from Menendez’s money, others have remained uncommitted or stayed quiet. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s office, for example, said that “until there is a verdict, this is an issue between the people of New Jersey and Senator Bob Menendez.”
Menendez, meanwhile, has maintained his innocence and believes he will be fully exonerated and remain in Congress.
Federal investigators accused him of using his power and influence while serving in the U.S. Senate to enter into a scheme that ultimately benefited the Egyptian government. The indictment stated that the lawmaker and his wife accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes “to seek to protect and enrich” Daibes, Hana and Uribe.
The bribes included cash, gold bars, home mortgage payments, compensation for no-show jobs, a luxury vehicle and “other things of value,” the indictment said.
Menendez denied any wrongdoing and said that forces “behind the scenes” are working to silence him and dig his “political grave.” He added that his behavior in the indictment was well within his office’s authority.
“Since this investigation was leaked nearly a year ago there has been an active smear campaign of anonymous sources and innuendoes to create an air of impropriety where none exists,” he wrote shortly after the indictment.
Menendez and his wife pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Fox News Digital’s Thomas Catenacci contributed to this report.