Bob Menendez
Cash found in a jacket with Menendez's name embroidered FBI

The FBI released on Friday photos showing the different assets embattled Sen. Bob Menendez had in his house and are central in the bribery allegations against him. Cash stuffed into boots and in jackets with his name embroidered and over a dozen gold bars stood out among the more than 100 pictures published.

The FBI said that there was close to half a million dollars in Menendez's house, where he lives with his wife Nadine, also charged in the case, in which both have been accused of using the senator's influence to benefit the governments of Qatar and Egypt in exchange for money and gifts.

Both have pleaded not guilty, and Nadine will have a separate trial set to begin after her husband's due to a breast cancer diagnosis.

One of the most salient photos show $4,300 in cash that prosecutors said were found inside the senator's Congressional Hispanic Caucus jacket. Many of the places where cash was found, either envelopes or clothing, had Menendez's name on them. That could help the prosecutor's case, as the senator has said he was unaware of any illegal actions and pinned most of the blame on his wife.

Prosecutors also included several photos of gold bars. Two of them, prosecutors said, weighed one kilogram each, the others weighing an ounce each. Menendez's lawyer Avi Weitzman said the senator didn't know his wife had gold bars and that he didn't have access to the closet in which they were kept. He shouldn't be blamed for the actions of the person he was living with, he said.

Gold bar found in Menendez's house FBI

As for the cash, he said, he withdrew thousands of dollars each month over the years to have them at hand in case of emergencies. This, he added, has to do with traumatic experiences from his family in Cuba and his father's compulsive gambling habit.

His lawyers had said in a letter that the lack of treatment "resulted in a fear of scarcity for the senator and the development of a longstanding coping mechanism of routinely withdrawing and storing cash in his home." Prosecutors, in turn, said that the arguments only sought to gain sympathy from the jury.

Menendez faced numerous calls to resign but has refused to do so, accepting to step down from committee assignments. Instead, he announced that he won't seek reelection as a Democrat and will do as an independent if cleared of his charges by the summer.

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