Sen. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey, pleaded not guilty today to 14 counts of corruption, bribery and fraud in New Jersey.In a video posted to a YouTube channel called "I Stand With Bob," Menendez denied any wrongdoing and vowed to fight the charges with the "unwavering support of so many people across New Jersey."
"For nearly 3 years, the Justice Department has pursued allegations based on smears launched by political opponents trying to silence me," Menendez told reporters outside court. "These allegations are false and I am confident they will be proven false and I look forward to doing so in court."
The New Jersey senator, who was indicted on Wednesday for his interactions with Florida eye doctor Dr. Salomon Melgen, was released on his own recognizance and will have to give up his personal passport.
Menendez may still travel abroad with his passport for work purposes.
Co-defendant Melgen also pleaded not guilty and was released on a $1.5 million bond. Melgen declined to comment.
The next hearing, which will be a status conference, is scheduled for April 22. The trial is tentatively scheduled for July 13.
"Today was a difficult day"..."But the charges leveled today, are completely false!"