NEW YORK (NEWSnet/AP) — Senator Bob Menendez and his wife pleaded not guilty Monday to newly filed federal obstruction of justice charges.

The new charges were in a rewritten indictment returned last week in Manhattan.

“Once again, not guilty your honor,” Menendez responded after Judge Sidney H. Stein asked him to enter a plea at a 20-minute hearing. Menendez had previously pleaded not guilty to charges in October.

Menendez and his wife, Nadine, entered the pleas to the indictment containing new charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice. Afterward, they briefly spoke to one another before leaving the courtroom together.

The couple is charged with conspiring with three businessmen to accept bribes of gold bars, cash and a luxury car in return for the senator’s help in projects pursued by the businessmen.

Two of the three businessmen they allegedly conspired with also entered not guilty pleas on Monday. A third, Jose Uribe, pleaded guilty two weeks ago to bribery charges and agreed to testify against the others at a trial set for May 6.

The new allegations — part of what is now an 18-count indictment — are related to gifts prosecutors say the couple received from Uribe.

After his fall arrest, Menendez, 70, was forced to relinquish his chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee but the Democrat said he would not resign from Congress.

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