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In Menendez Trial Sellinger Admits Sought Ambassador Post as Soliman Used Signal

by Matthew Russell Lee

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 18 – 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.

On June 13, trial day - and next day - was canceled by Daibes calling in with COVID: thread.

And then, book: GOLD BAR BAR Menendez Trial I, on Amazon here.

On June 18, after Daibes' COVID, things resumed with Sellinger, followed by Matt Soliman, thread:

All rise! Judge: Cross examination will continue.

 Menendez' lawyer Weitzman: Mr. Sellinger, did Senator Menendez raise Jamel Semper, asking if you would make him your deputy, after requests from African American pastors? Sellinger: Of that, I'm not sure 

Menendez lawyer Weitzman: Do you remember seeing press urging the promotion of Semper to US Attorney? Assistant US Attorney: Objection! Judge: Sustained. Weitzman: Let me refresh your recollection...Do you see this, and remember? AUSA: Objection! Judge: You may answer  Sellinger: I remember, but not the time frame. Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Do you know that Senator Menendez was under political pressure to name a diverse US Attorney? AUSA: Objection! Judge: Sustained as to political pressure.

Weitzman: Did he raise Fred Dabies? A: Yes.  [Daibes] Menendez's lawyer Fee: Do you agree the US Attorney's Office should be above partisan politics? Sellinger: Yes. Weitzman: You had discussions about how improper it would be to weaponize DOJ - Judge: Sustained!

Weitzman: Did you discuss? Sellinger: Not that I recall   Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Did you regard what Senator Menendez was asking for as being anything more than your official duty? Sellinger: No. In fact I don't think he was asking me for anything. Weitzman: He didn't use aggressive language? Sellinger: He did not.  Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: This was the only time Senator Menendez mentioned Mr. Daibes to you during the vetting process? Sellinger: Yes.

Weitzman: Did Senator Menendez tell you he had raised Daibes to the Trump-appointee US Attorney Craig Carpenito? Sellinger: He did 

Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Did the Senator tell you that Carpenito said the decision wasn't his but that of his first deputy Rachel Honig? Sellinger: He did.

Weitzman: Did Senator Menendez help you set up a meeting with Cory Booker? Sellinger: Yes... It went well. 

Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Did Senator Menendez tell you the Biden White House wouldn't accept you as US Attorney, that there was a White House memo about diverse candidates, by [White House counsel] Dana Remus? Let me show you the memo.

Judge: Make it larger, counsel

Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Dana Remus says, "President-elect Biden is eager to appoint those who look like America. Propose talented individuals... race, origin," etc   Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: After Esther Suarez received the nomination, you continued to lobby for the position? Sellinger: No. Only after I learned the Suarez nomination was encountering significant roadblocks. I said, I'd be interested  Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Did Senator Menendez recommend you for Ambassadorships? Sellinger: I think so. Weitzman: Have you seen this letter? [March 2021]

Judge: Did you recommend you for any particular ambassadorship? Sellinger: Not in this letter  Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Do you remember negative press about Esther Suarez? Sellinger: I do.

Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Did Mike Soliman call you, 9 days after Senator Menendez called you on April 20? Sellinger: I see those Weitzman: Did you mention you might be subject to recusal in Daibes and other matters, including political corruption? A: 4 matters 

Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: And another matter involved a health care company- AUSA: Objection. May I confer with Mr. Weitzman? [Does. Then:] Weitzman: We don't need to get into the details. But to Mike Soliman, you didn't mention which matter? Sellinger: I did  Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Did you know that Senator Menendez went to the World Economic Forum in Davos? Judge: Sustained. Let's move on.

[Next: Daibes' lawyer Cesar de Castro] Daibes' lawyer: You knew who Esther Suarez was? Sellinger: Yes.  Daibes' lawyer: She had been a judge and a state prosecutor, right? Sellinger: I had not met her at that time. Daibes' lawyer: You received a call from Mr. Daibes' lawyer at that time? Sellinger: I did. I maintain an open door policy  Judge: Re-direct? AUSA: Very briefly. How many cases did Senator Menendez mention to you? Sellinger: Only one. AUSA: Nothing further. Judge: Break.

 OK - now AUSA Richenthal questioning Matt Soliman AUSA Richenthal: Did you use Signal?

Soliman: That or a regular phone call. AUSA Richenthal: What was Mr. Menendez' demeanor? Soliman: Inquisitive. AUSA: Did you call Mr. Sellinger as Mr. Menendez asked you to? No  AUSA: Did this come up again? Soliman: Yes, I set up a lunch with Mr. Sellinger. I let Senator Menendez know. AUSA: What did Mr. Menendez say about the Daibes matter? Soliman: That he wanted me to raise it, that Mr. Daibes should get all due process. 

AUSA: What was Senator Menendez's tone? Soliman: Frustrated. AUSA: With you or the US Attorney's Office? Soliman: The latter AUSA: Did the lunch occur? Soliman: Yes. AUSA: What did Mr. Sellinger say? Soliman: He said, if you bring up a case I have to tell DOJ 


Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Senator Menendez sings Happy Birthday to you? Soliman: He does. Weitzman: He invited you to his wedding? Soliman: He did.  Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Was there a hack? A: Yes. Then we used Signal. Weitzman: Was there a Democratic caucus Signal chain? A: People used Signal.

Weitzman: In NJ, did the senior senator propose a US Attorney and junior get a veto, even under Lautenberg? Yes  Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: If Trump had won the [2020] election, there'd be no reason for Senator Menendez to vet candidates for US Attorney, right? Soliman: Right. Weitzman: Did Senator Menendez consider Mr. Sellinger as a Federal judge? Soliman: He mentioned it 

Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Did Senator Menendez, after Joe Biden won the election, consider for the US Attorney position Dan Goldman, now Congressman Dan Goldman, like Lee Vartan? Soliman: I don't know. Weitzman: The Joe Biden WH wanted diverse candidates? Yes 

Finally, re-direct AUSA Richenthal: What's the date on the White House memo? Soliman: Dec 22, 2020. AUSA: You heard from Mr. Turner about a falling out between Mr. Menendez and Mr. Sellinger - did he refer to this memo? Soliman: No. 

AUSA Richenthal: What was the only case Mr. Menendez asked you to talk to a prosecutor about? Soliman: The Daibes case. AUSA: No further questions. Judge: You are excused.  Now after Menendez leaving the courthouse said Sellinger said he wasn't asked anything improper, and he wasn't, lawyers' arguments about Qatar bribe scheme. Menendez's lawyer

Weitzman: Heritage is separate from the Qatar government Judge: That's hard to argue.  Judge: They are Qatari royals. Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Sheikh Thani is independent, he doesn't take one dollar or whatever their currency is in Qatar. Judge: You are overstating the 302s. If there is a conviction he'll be able to appeal all this.

 Judge: I'm allowing the exhibits. They are not for the truth, though... We're already a couple of weeks past what I asked the juror about conflicts on... You're saying we'll end at the end of the week of July 8, who knows on which side they'll take their ire out  AUSA: We still don't know who the defense witnesses are.

Weitzman: They have 18 on their list, we don't know which ones they're calling. They are not going to finish by the 25th. AUSA: We anticipate dropping some witnesses.

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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