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Turkey gloats at Menendez indictment but will it get F-16 jets?

Sen. Bob Menendez, a strong critic of Turkey who heads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been charged for allegedly receiving bribes via a scheme involving Egypt.
.S. Sen. Robert Menendez spoke during the rally to commemorate the 1915 Turkish massacre of Armenians in Times Square April 26, 2015 in New York City. The rally marks 100 years since the Ottoman government began its systematic extermination of Armenian peoples from their homeland in what is present-day Turkey. (Photo by Kevin Hagen/Getty Images)

The announcement of federal corruption charges against Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., on Friday leading up to him stepping down as the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC), was met by snarky reactions in Turkish news outlets and social media, a response to the lawmaker’s strong and persistent criticism of Turkey.

Menendez, a well-known foreign policy figure and established power broker in the Senate, allegedly participated in a bribery scheme involving his wife, Nadine, and three businesspeople in his state of New Jersey, federal prosecutors announced on Friday. 

The US attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, told reporters that the senator allegedly “used his power and influence, including his leadership role on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to benefit the government of Egypt in various ways.”

Later the same day, Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer announced that Menendez would temporarily step down as head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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