Menendez Explains $480,000 Cash Hoard: It’s for a…Rainy Day?

New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez held a press conference on Monday to address the federal corruption charges by prosecutors from the Southern District of New York.

He tried to explain why he had $480,000 in cash hidden in his home.

“For 30 years, I have withdrawn thousands of dollars in cash from my personal savings account, which I have kept for emergencies, and because of the history of my family facing confiscation in Cuba,” he said. “Now, this may seem old-fashioned, but these were monies drawn from my personal savings account based on the income that I have lawfully derived over those 30 years. I look forward to addressing other issues at trial.”

The senator did not explain the gold, luxury car, home furnishings, and mortgage payments that prosecutors allege he also accepted as bribes. And to make matters worse, authorities say some of the envelopes full of money found in the home contained the fingerprints of the business people who are accused of paying the bribes to Menendez.

Menendez has been facing bribery charges for the second time in six years. The indictment alleges that Menendez and his wife, Nadine, accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from three New Jersey businessmen.

The senator also emphasized his record on Egypt “during the period described in this indictment.”

“My record is clear and consistent in holding Egypt accountable for its unjust detention of American citizens and others, its human rights abuses, its deepening relationship with Russia, and efforts that have eroded the independence of the nation’s judiciary among a myriad of concerns.”

Menendez is looking at up to 45 years in prison if convicted of the charges, which include conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, and conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right.

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