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New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez says he won’t run in Democratic primary

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey said Thursday that he will not run in the Democratic primary as he faces federal corruption charges, but he left open the possibility that he would reenter the race as an independent later this year if he is exonerated at a trial.

Menendez made the announcement in a video released Thursday afternoon.

The decision comes as Menendez fights federal bribery charges, along with his wife, Nadine, and three business associates.

Menendez and his spouse are charged with taking bribes of gold bars, cash and a Mercedes-Benz in return for the senator’s help with projects pursued by three New Jersey businessmen. In return for the haul, Menendez helped one of the men get a lucrative meat-certification deal with Egypt, taking actions favorable to the Egyptian government, according to prosecutors. An additional indictment said Menendez helped another associate get a deal with a Qatari investment fund.


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