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In Sen Menendez Trial USDA McKinney Cites Nefarious Pressure But Bob Says Wait for Cross

by Matthew Russell Lee

SDNY COURTHOUSE, May 31 – Amid reports of investigation against Sen. Robert Menendez for taking gold bars, Inner City Press' sources on September 21 it to expect on Friday, September 22 an appearance in Federal court in Manhattan by Menendez and his wife Nadine Arslanian. This scoop was true.

Later a superseder was unveiled, including charges of bribes to act for Qatar...

On April 11, 2024 after Nadine Menendez and then the government asked for delay, to July or undefined, Judge Stein severed her case and reaffirmed May 6, Inner City Press thread

On Sunday night April 14 the US wrote in again asking for a delay to July, six page letter on Patreon here.

But Judge Stein told the parties to confer and report by April 16 at 1 pm. Then he set an April 17 conference, which Inner City Press live tweeted and dubbed "Berate-gate," thread

On May 13, jury selection began - but did not finish. Abit later, Menendez got into an car with FOP NJ plates.

On May 14 jury selection continued but was not yet completed, from the ending, thread

Late on May 14, the US Attorney's Office filed opposition to slides the defense wants to use in its opening arguments, including quotes from Colin Powell and MLK, and when Nadine came into possession of gold - full letter on Patreon here

Inner City Press live tweeted jury selection and then opening arguments here, then filmed Bob's exit (he said he thought it went well and that his guy did great).

On May 21, the US Attorney's Office put on Wael Hana's lawyer, then a US State Department official working on Congressional approval (or holds) on arms transfer to Egypt, thread here.

On May 23, with the trial in haitus, docketed was Menendez' lawyers opposition to quashing his subpoena for Jose Uribe's attorney proffer and communications with SDNY prosecutors, filing on Patreon here

On May 29, Inner City Press live tweeted, omitting Morton's steakhouse but including this

On May 30, Menendez's lawyer's (long) cross, including this.

On May 31, starting 1 pm, the agent was cross examined, and then USDA Ted McKinney on direct, thread:

All rise! Judge: Mr. Lustberg [counsel to Wael Hana] you may proceed.

Lustberg: You see this receipt, payment for the exercise machine? Witness: Yes, a Palpal receipt.

Lustberg: Do you see this message in which Nadine Menendez calls Mr. Hana a brother? Agent: I see it. Lustberg: She wanted him to pay off her mortgage, correct? Agent: I recall that generally. Lustberg: Here she is asking for a wire AUSA: Objection!  Sustained

 Lustberg: This message from Jose Uribe to Nadine Menendez, is it about making the mortgage up to day  AUSA: Objection! Judge: Ask again Lustberg: Is this relevant to that? Agent: I need to see the whole conversation. Lustberg: Here she write, Will is an as*shole

 Lustberg: The lawyer asks Nadine, did you review the note I sent you, correct? Agent: That's what it says. Lustberg: It also says - Judge: The jury will have this. There is no reason to ask it like this. Lustberg: I want to know if he sees it. Agent: I do.

 Lustberg: Please enlarge this check, beneath the amount back - $23,500 - what does it say? Agent: Loan auth. W. Hana to N.A. Lustberg: You didn't testify about this on direct, did you? Agent: I don't remember.

 Lustberg: Look at these lines, that say "I know there will be a lot of hard work for all of us but hopefully it will come to fruition... Once I know your role I will get your contract prepared." Do you know- AUSA: Objection! Judge: Sustained.

Judge: Wrap it up, sir. Lustberg: Just a couple more things... I just need a few more moments. I'm going more slowly. You were asked questions if there was more money than the $30,000  Judge: Sustained! Lustberg: Do you see where Nadine asks Mr. Daibes $36K? Yes

Lustberg: One last on this subject. Line 956 on page 70, please... A voicemail from Nadine to Mr. Daibes, it says, "do me the favor of talking to Will, he wants me in the office 8 hours a day, uh, thank you Fred." Agent: I don't remember it specifically

 Lustberg: Line 462 to 465, page 37 - the WhatsApp from Mr. Hana to Akmed Ahbed al Kareem Agent: I don't recall specifics. Lustberg: Ahmed Assam - who was he? Agent: At this moment I don't recall. Judge: Asked and answered. Next. Lustberg: Hana and Shawky? Helmi?

Lustberg: Mr. Hana was involved in setting up meeting for Egyptian personnel in Washington? Agent: I'd need to see. Lustberg: Are these photographs of people in restaurants?  Agent: Yes.  Judge: Wrap it up. Nothing further. Counsel for Daibes: Just a few questions

Daibes' lawyer: The photos in the restaurants, Mr. Daibes is not in them, is he? Agent: Not that I see. Daibes' lawyer: You're new to the FBI Public Corruption unit, right? Agent: Yes. I was on the health care squad. Daibes' lawyer: And they picked you for this  Nothing further.

AUSA: The government calls Ted McKinney...  McKinney: I am the CEO for NASDA, National Assoc of State Dep'ts of Agriculture.  Previously at the Indiana Dep't of Agriculture to 2017. Then USDA, in foreign trade until 2021, Trump appointee

AUSA: Your job was to promote US exports - what % of US agricultural exports were to Egypt? McKinney: Small but important - we had 60% of the market share of beef livers. Often those offals like liver and tongue are the key profit center for the rancher

 McKinney: I went to the annual Dubai food show. I'd go to the office of the GCC. In late April 2019 we learned that Egypt had delisted a number of halal certifiers in the US, and was making a monopoly for IS EG. AUSA: How did you learn it? McKinney: An email.

McKinney: We swung into action. We called the Egyptian ambassador in DC. When they moved to monopoly, on only one week's notice, prices went up.  Judge: Tell me about your history? McKinney: My family raised pork in Indiana. Judge: You were tuned in at age 17? Yes 

McKinney: My chief of staff told me Senator Menendez would be calling me on my cell phone. He did. He referenced a news article, he said Quit interfering with my constituent. I wanted to explain why - I was interrupted and the call ended shortly thereafter Inner City Press @innercitypress · 3h AUSA: What was Senator Menendez' tone and demeanor?

McKinney: Serious to very serious. He was insisting, Stop! Stop interfering! AUSA: Did any other member of Congress interrupt you like that?

McKinney: No, never.

 Judge Stein: We'll break here.

  After the trial day, Inner City Press filed Menendez' walk to his Jersey-plated car; asked why he called McKinney he said, Wait for the cross [examination.

More on X for Subscribers here and Substack here

The case is US v. Menendez, et al., 23-cr-490 (Stein)

More on Substack here


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