On Wednesday, Senator Robert Menendez and his wife, Nadine Menendez, pleaded not guilty to bribery charges, marking it the second time he stood in front of the federal judge being accused on trading his political influence for cash and luxury items.
The Menendezes were released on personal recognizance bonds. But a Manhattan federal magistrate judge told them that they could travel outside the country only for official business, with prior notification to the court.
The Senator and his wife of three years held hands as the exited the 26-th floor courthouse four hours after they had arrived. They were headed downstairs to complete the paperwork. The couple did not answer any questions being shouted at them by the reporters while they whispered among themselves.
The arraignment followed an astonishing accusations last week that Mr. Menendez, his wife, and three New Jersey businessmen had been involved in a lurid scheme to deviate the federal aid and weapon sales to Egypt in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars, bars of gold bullion, and a Mercedes-Benz convertible.
In the recent days, he had stated that he is confident of being exonerated once the facts are fully discovered. He has also cautioned against rush to judgement. He rejected calls from growing numbers of top Democrates, including Gov. Philip D. Murphy, and Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, to step down.