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In Menendez Trial NJ US Attorney Says Bob Asked of Daibes Case Before Recusal Talk

by Matthew Russell Lee

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 12 – 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

  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].

Nadine Menendez hired a new lawyer, who previously represented Sydney Powell among others. Then this: "ORDER as to Nadine Menendez: At the request of the defendant and with the consent of the government [Doc. No. 434], the status conference is adjourned from June 10 to June 12 at 5 :00 p.m.(Signed by Judge Sidney H. Stein on 6/3/2024)."

On June 4 Judge Stein dockted a partially redacted Order in which he denied Menendez's request that the prosecutors give him impeachment material about a Confidential Human Source they are not going to call as a witness - but Menendez said he will.

On June 5, Inner City Press live tweeted - and afterward asked Menendez a question. Thread.

On June 6, after more cross of Agent Graves, Gurbir Grewal testified, thread

On June 7, after an FBI fingerprint expert, cooperator Jose Uribe, Inner City Press live tweeted, thread

On June 10, Uribe finished his direct examination around 4 pm, then counsel for Hana, not yet Menendez, began cross examination, thread.

On June 11, Uribe was cross examined - though not on the "strip club issue" after which out on Worth Street Menendez decried Uribe's crimes. Thread

On June 12, after the end of Uribe (including drunk driving and the "little bell"), US Attorney of NJ Sellinger took the stand, thread:

Jury has still not been brought in. Judge Stein: I got the midnight submission from Menendez [Inner City Press tweeted a screenshot of it, just after it went in, bid to impeach Hana] and I disagree with it. But I am asking the parties, stop with midnight filings  Judge Stein: Bring in the jury... You have my decision...

Jury entering! [Jurors enter] Judge Stein: Mr. Fee, you may continue and conclude your cross examination. Menendez's lawyer Fee: You texted Nadine, You don't love me anymore, correct? Uribe: It was a joke  Menendez's lawyer Fee: The meeting on the backyard patio, didn't you say "We are working people," about Bien Hernandez?

 Uribe: We were talking, drinking Grand Marnier. Fee: You spelled out the deal to Nadine - not to Sen Menendez? Uribe: I talked elements with him  Menendez's lawyer Fee: You claim you wrote down the names for Senator Menendez in Sept 2019 - but why, if Nadine had them? AUSA: Objection! Judge: Sustained. Fee: Here's the patio where you met Senator Menendez? Uribe: It was dark. 

Menendez's lawyer Fee: You say Senator Menendez rang a little bell & said, "mon amour, bring paper"? Uribe: The piece of paper was brought into the backyard by Mrs. Menendez, where I wrote the names. Fee: So there are gaps in your memory? Uribe: I give substance 

Menendez's lawyer Fee: The little bell that you say Senator Menendez rang was it bigger than my fist? Judge: Sustained! Lower your voice! You're saying the size of the bell is important? Fee: I am Judge: Was there anyone else on the patio? Uribe: Just Senator & me  Menendez's lawyer Fee: Senator Menendez did not promise any particular outcome? Uribe: The word promise was not used... Fee: How much did you spend at the Glenpointe Marriott bar from 2018 to 2020? Uribe: I don't know.

Fee: Did you drive drunk? Objection!  Menendez's lawyer Fee: You were using Xanax? Uribe: Sometimes when I have a stomach... Fee: You had no prescription but got it from family? Uribe: Yes. Fee: You were stressed out. Uribe: Yes. Fee: When you met Sen Menendez you were drinking? Uribe: Sometimes  Menendez's lawyer Fee: After the backyard meeting, Senator Menendez told you to watch out, there were many police around, you should not be drinking and driving? Uribe: We had Grand Marnier. Fee: You only brought up Prestige [Trucking] after you drank? Uribe: Yes 

  Menendez's lawyer Fee: What is the impact on your memory when you use Xanax and alcohol? AUSA: Objection!

Judge: When did you take Xanax?

Uribe: In the morning. Fee: The senator told you he saved your ass - you say he used the word "culito"? Uribe: Yes.  Menendez's lawyer Fee: You pled guilty to tax evasion. Why? Uribe: Because I was guilty. Fee: You understand the prosecutors were focused on Senator Menendez? Uribe: I was investigated for the car to Nadine Menendez 

Menendez's lawyer Fee: The patio, the Segovia's meeting - did the prosecutors question those? Objection! Sustained. Fee: Is you goal here to do anything to protect yourself and your family? AUSA: Objection! Judge: Sustained. Fee: Nothing further  Jury out Judge: Mr. Fee, after a few more years at Paul Hastings you too many have a little bell. We'll break.

They're back. AUSA: Did this text reflect Nadine telling Senator Menendez she was looking for the right bell, 5 days before the backyard meeting with Mr. Uribe? Witness: It does. Menendez's lawyer Fee: Are you aware of Nadine's collection of bells that don't ring?  Next witness is from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Witness: The Federal Reserve Board tells us how many bills they wanted printed in a particular year. AUSA: Show GX HL1-4. Are all bills now Next Gen? Witness: All but the ones and the twos. 

[While waiting for judge and jury to come back, Menendez is sitting or leaning back against the defense table, chatting with his lawyer Adam Fee. Daibes is leaning back in the back row. Prosecutors knock a water bottle on the floor] All rise! 

Next witness is US Attorney for the District of NJ Philip R. Sellinger. Assistant [SDNY] US Attorney: Who selects the US Attorney? Sellinger: The Senators recommend to the President. Judge: The President of the US? Sellinger: Yes.  AUSA: When did you meet Senator Menendez?

Sellinger: All the way back to 2000. Later we golfed, with our sons. And dinner with my wife, and he with Nadine. AUSA: How many people went to their wedding? Sellinger: 65 to 70. 

AUSA: When did you begin speaking with Robert Menendez about becoming US Attorney? Sellinger: In 2016 in the run up to the election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. At Senator Menendez' recommendation I spoke with Senator Booker  Sellinger: Hillary Clinton was not elected, so the discussions of my becoming US Attorney came to an end. AUSA: What about 2020? Sellinger: Joseph Biden was elected President. I expressed an interest again, to Senator Menendez. We met one on one at his office  Sellinger: It was Dec 15, 2020. I flew Tampa to BWI, then Dulles to Sarasota. AUSA: Was the meeting in your calendar?

Sellinger: No. I thought it might be disruptive at my firm, Greenberg Traurig; my secretaries had access to my calendar. So I did not list it  Sellinger: I talked about what I might to as US Attorney. Then Senator Menendez mentioned Fred Daibes, that he thought he was being treated unfairly. Senator Menendez said he hoped that if I became US Attorney I would look at it closely  AUSA: How did you respond? Sellinger: I said that any case that came before me I would take a look at. AUSA: How many cases does the Office have? Sellinger: Approximately 1500.

AUSA: Had you heard of Fred Daibes? Sellinger: Yes. In a lawsuit, him and his bank  AUSA: What was your understanding of Menendez' relationship with Fred Daibes? Sellinger: I understood that they were friends. AUSA: The lawsuit in which Mr. Daibes was adverse, did Senator Menendez bring it up in 2020? Sellinger: No.  AUSA: When you met with Senator Booker, did Senator Booker bring up any particular cases?

Sellinger: No.... On the Daibes case, I called Senator Menendez back and told him that I might have to recuse myself from any case involving Mr. Daibes.  AUSA: When Menendez told you he could not nominate you, what did he say? Sellinger: That the White House wanted multiple candidates, something else. This was in late December. AUSA: Who did he recommend? Sellinger: Esther Suarez  Sellinger: I told Senator Menendez I would still be interested. He said Ms. Suarez had a second White House interview. That was early April 2021. AUSA: When did Robert Menendez tell you that you were being put forward, recommended?

Sellinger: Early summer  AUSA: What was the process? Sellinger: White House interview, FBI interview, interview by Democratic and Republican counsel for the Judiciary Committee. AUSA: After you were sworn in, how many cases did you flag for possible recusal? Sellinger: Four.  Sellinger: I was recused from the Daibes case and two others. Judge: We'll break here

They've back. AUSA: Did a lawyer from Fred Daibes contact you? Sellinger: Yes, in early 2022. I told him I'd been recused. AUSA: Did you speak with Menendez? Sellinger: Two more times. He called me. It was a social call, I thought. He told me he'd had an accident  Sellinger: Then his former staffer Michael Solomon had lunch with me and said, Can I ask you a question? I said, I cannot discuss cases with elected officials or their representatives. He said he understood.

AUSA: Did he ask the question? Sellinger: No.  Sellinger: I invited Senator Menendez to my investiture but he said no, the only thing worse than not having a relationship with the US Attorney is people thinking you have a relationship with the US Attorney. AUSA: Meaning? Sellinger: We had no relationship 


Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: You attended Menendez' wedding? Sellinger: Yes. Weitzman: He was affectionate to her? Sellinger: Yes. Judge Stein: Are you affectionate to your wife? Sellinger: I try to be Weitzman: Depends how long married 

Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: When Senator Menendez was considering you in 2016, he didn't mention a Daibes case, because there was not Daibes case- Judge: Was there a Daibes case in 2016? Selllinger: I'm not aware of one.  Judge: Let's conclude for the day.

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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