Bob Menendez: Here’s what prosecutors say the US senator was bought off

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Democratic Senate of New Jersey. Bob Menendez faces his second, singularity Investigation of bribery and corruption In the seven years since Monday.

Prosecutors say the new case is a complex affair involving multiple gold bars, cash envelopes, Mercedes and more, the powerful former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and his new wife (whom they married during the alleged bribery scheme. ) received in exchange for helping Egypt establish a halal meat monopoly. and provided aid to people from Qatar and attempted to influence the New Jersey prosecution.

Menendez, who has until June to announce whether he is running for re-election, has pleaded not guilty and denied all charges. He CNN’s Manu told Raju “I look forward to proving my innocence,” he said on Capitol Hill last week.

Also pleading not guilty and denying wrongdoing are his wife, Nadine, who is named as a defendant, and two businessmen, Wael Hana and Fred Teibs, with ties to Egypt and Qatar respectively. Another man, a New Jersey businessman Jose UribeOn the other hand, he pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

Here’s what lawyers say the senator and his wife received:

Hana and Teibs gave Menendez and his wife gold bars, which prosecutors say were seized by the FBI from Menendez’s home. After returning from a trip to Egypt and getting a ride home from the airport from Teibs’ driver, prosecutors say Menendez looked up the price of a gold bar online.

US District Court Southern District of New York

A court-authorized search of the home turned up two gold bars in Menendez’s home.

The indictment includes photographs of piles of cash next to jackets embroidered with the senator’s name. One photo shows piles of $20 bills and $50 bills and another photo of $100 bills.

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US District Court Southern District of New York

Prosecutors included this photo of a jacket with Menendez’s name on the bottom of the $100 bills.

US District Court Southern District of New York

Prosecutors included this photo of a jacket with Menendez’s name on the bottom of the $20 and $50 bills.

They also found cash, a safe and Nadine Menendez’s safety deposit box in the closet. According to prosecutors, some of the envelopes contained the tapes or his driver’s fingerprints or DNA.

Total cash found: More than $480,000 in the house and more than $70,000 in a safety deposit box.

Later on Court filing The charges filed in the case are very specific, describing bags full of money being found on hangers in the senator’s basement and stuffed in boots in a closet.

The 2019 vehicle, valued at more than $60,000 by prosecutors, was parked in the driveway at Menendez’s home when the search was conducted.

The indictment describes Nadine Menendez taking $15,000 in cash from Uribe at the parking lot and making a $15,000 down payment the day before she took the vehicle. Uribe allegedly hid the monthly financing payments for the vehicle.

US District Court Southern District of New York

Nadine Menendez bought a Mercedes-Benz C-class convertible with a $15,000 down payment the day after prosecutors said Uribe paid her $15,000 for the parking lot. The photo has been included in court documents.

Later, after the raid, he wrote a $21,000 check to Uribe in what prosecutors say was a cleanup effort that appeared to be a gift loan.

In December 2018, Nadine Menendez needed a new car after hitting and killing a jaywalker in Bogotá, New Jersey. A Police report filed but she has not faced any charges.

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Prosecutors say the senator and his wife tried to cover up about $23,000 in donations to Nadine Menendez from a Hana-owned halal meat company. Reimbursement checks were paid in December 2022, months after the initial raid on the senator’s home.

Hanna’s company paid Nadine Menendez $10,000 three times, prosecutors said. At the time, They accuseHe acted as a kind of intermediary between the Egyptian authorities, Hana and the senator.

Prosecutors describe a taped conversation between Hana and a confidential source in which Hana received $150,000 from a man to buy a car and an engagement ring for Nadine Menendez in exchange for the senator’s “push” in a New Jersey criminal case. It saved the man for three years.

In a February court filing, prosecutors said Nadine Menendez arranged to have carpet installed in her basement, apparently in exchange for hosting dinner parties between the senator and officials — and for her invitation, according to prosecutors, to try to intervene in New Jersey. Government case.

The initial September 2023 indictment contained several references to furniture and furnishings provided by Hana and Teibs, but did not go into detail.

In an additional indictment filed in March, prosecutors allege that Menendez obtained tickets to Formula One races in 2022 and 2023 for a relative of Nadine Menendez. Menendez expressed support for Qatar during that period and persuaded Qatari authorities to invest in Daibes’ real estate venture.

The tapes are described as sending the senator pictures of luxury watches costing between $10,000 and $24,000, but it’s unclear from the filing whether Menendez ever received a deadline.

All of these alleged bribes include a long list of actions that prosecutors say Menendez took in return. They accuse Menendez, in his previous role as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

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… lobbied the US Department of Agriculture to maintain Hana’s monopoly on halal meat exports to Egypt, even if it raised prices.

… met with Egyptian officials in exchange for money.

… Hana provided unclassified but non-public information about personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Egypt.

… sent Hana information about US military sales to Egypt and signed off on some sales.

… lobbied the Qataris on behalf of Taibs’ real estate project and supported pro-Qatar resolutions in the Senate.

… Tried to influence court cases involving Uribe and his associates in New Jersey. Urib is now cooperating with the lawyers.

… sought to derail the federal prosecution of Teibs.

Again, Menendez denies all charges, and a jury to hear his side of the story will be selected beginning Monday in New York. Nadine Menendez’s trial is set for July.

Perhaps Menendez and his wife can argue convincingly that the mortgage and car payments are debt. Perhaps Menendez could argue that he had no knowledge of the payments related to the dinners and gatherings arranged by his wife. Cash prosecutors say the tapes’ fingerprints can be more difficult to interpret.

Menendez is used to being under the microscope of federal prosecutors. Ultimately the Judiciary He decided not to try again In 2018, a previous jury deadlocked on whether Menendez accepted trips and gifts from a friend, an ophthalmologist named Solomon Melgen.

Melgen went to prison in a separate medical fraud scheme, but that conviction changed by then-President Donald Trump after Menendez lobbied on Melcon’s behalf.

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