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Menendez bribery trial: Jurors see texts sent between senator and wife regarding Egyptian military aid

The panel is specifically seeing text messages showing how Sen. Bob Menendez’s wife, Nadine Menendez, was responsible for making those connections and setting up meetings.

Chris Keating

May 29, 2024, 4:54 PM

Updated 22 days ago

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As the federal bribery trial of Sen. Bob Menendez continues this week, jurors are hearing about his connection to the country of Egypt.
The panel is specifically seeing text messages showing how Menendez’s wife, Nadine Menendez, was responsible for making those connections and setting up meetings between the senator and defense officials with the Egyptian government. Jurors are being given a chance to read text messages dating back to 2018 and 2019 sent between Menendez and his wife when the two first started dating.
Soon after the relationship started, messages show Nadine asked Sen. Menendez to meet with Egyptian defense officials looking for military aid.
Jurors would learn she was allegedly being prompted to do so by co-defendant Wael Hana, who had friends in the Egyptian government.
After taking those meetings with defense officials from Egypt, Sen. Menendez sent a message to Nadine in 2018 allegedly stating, “Tell Will I am going to sign off on the sale to Egypt today…Tank ammunition to Egypt…46,000 -120 mm target practice rounds and 10,000 rounds of tank ammunition…$99 million.”
“Will” is referring to Hana.
In April 2019, Nadine allegedly sent a text to Sen. Menendez stating, “Seems like halal went through. It might be a fantastic 2019 all the way around."
A month later, it was discovered that Egypt awarded Hana and his company ISEG Halal in Edgewater a contract to be the sole certifier of halal meat imported to Egypt. For that to go through, Egypt told seven halal certifiers they would no longer be needed.
Jurors also learned Nadine soon allegedly received new carpeting at her home, plus a salary from ISEG Halal for $2,500 a week for setting up meetings between the senator and Egypt.
Prosecutors say that was a no-show job.
The prosecution is trying to connect the dots for jurors to show how the senator's help with military aid to Egypt allowed Hana to get his halal meat contract and Nadine and the senator cash and gold.
Jurors also saw a message from an attorney named Howard Dorian for ISEG Halal, saying of Nadine, “It is important to keep her happy or she will cancel the meetings.”
Nadine Menendez is also a defendant in this case. Her trial will take place in July.
Jurors are also hearing from an FBI agent concerning this evidence. He is expected to be back on the stand Thursday.
Attorneys for Menendez say he has never taken any bribes. The senator has denied any wrongdoing.
The prosecution is still presenting its case in a trial that could take five to seven weeks.


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