Menendez bribery trial: Federal prosecutors begin closing arguments

All three defendants have rested their case.

Chris Keating

Jul 8, 2024, 4:34 PM

Updated 16 days ago

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Closing arguments have started at the trial of Senator Bob Menendez.
Federal prosecutors are using their final attempt to speak to jurors and prove their case that the Senator is guilty of taking bribes.
The Prosecution started its closing by telling jurors that Senator Bob Menendez, “put his power up for sale.”
Saying, Menendez wanted to, “use his power to pile up riches for he and his wife.”
Senator Bob Menendez sat and listened inside a crowded courtroom as jurors again started seeing photos on their monitors of cash and gold found inside of the Englewood Cliffs home the couple shared.
The prosecution reminded jurors that in 2022 when the FBI searched the home shared by the Senator and his wife Nadine said, “They found envelopes of cash stuffed in bags. They found a Mercedes Benz in the garage and they found gold bars. You learned they were bribes.”
As for any defense argument that Senator Menendez was left in the dark, federal prosecutors reminded juror of all of the text messages between the couple.
“His wife Nadine was his go-between, always keeping him informed.”
The allegation is that Wael Hana, Fred Daibes, and Jose Uribe were paying those bribes… the conspiracy allegedly started in 2018 with a no show job for Nadine.
Jurors saw checks for 10,000 dollars from Daibes for Nadine…two of which prosecutor's allege were handed directly to Menendez.
Jurors were told that in return Menendez would soon start changing his stance on Egyptian human rights and supporting millions of dollars of U-S Military aid for the country from his position as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
In turn, Wael Hana in 2019 would gain a monopoly on certification of Halal meat into Egypt. The prosecution explained to jurors…that when it comes to finding guilt on a charge of bribery…
“The official doesn’t have to take official action, the promise itself is a crime.”
As for the Defense, when they have their chance, attorneys for Menendez are expected to deny Menendez ever took a bribe.
The cash, $400,000, they will say is a cultural habit of Cubans.
When it comes to Nadine’s Mercedes...payments from Jose Uribe have been called a loan. And the Senator’s signing off on aid to Egypt they'll likely argue was needed to fight terrorism.
The Prosecution presented its summation until 5 p.m. at which point jurors went home.
The prosecution will resume on Tuesday.
The jury is expected to start deliberating before the week is out.

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