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In Menendez Trial Qatar Offers London Hunting and Daibes Glazed Donuts as Bob Googles Gold

by Matthew Russell Lee

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 20 – 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.

On June 20, alongside an FBI agent summary witness, a prosecution office witness out of order, thread:

   OK - US v Senator Robert Menendez resumes (juror 50 minutes late), now FBI Special Agent Paul Van Wie starts testimony.

Assistant US Attorney: What did you review about Senator Menendez? FBI Van Wie: Thousands of emails and text messages. AUSA: We offer them into evidence. Menendez's lawyer: Just one moment  [No objection]

AUSA: GX 1304 & 1351, summary charts. Judge Stein: Admitted. AUSA: This concerns the 2018 indictment of Fred Daibes... Please read the message.

FBI Van Wie: Sellinger texts Menendez, Can we talk? Thanks, Phillip. Then, How is right now?  AUSA: What does Menendez do? FBI Van Wie: He calls Sellinger. AUSA: What is this list of countries Sellinger indicated interest in being Ambassador to? FBI Van Wie: "These are countries I have visited... Japan, Netherlands, Denmark"

 [& more, exhibits later 

AUSA: And these Signal messages between Soliman and Menendez?

 FBI Van Wie: Solimon asks if he can guide Sellinger and Menendez says, Yes... Sellinger played golf then asked for one his clubs back, "if you pro shop finds it in your bag" AUSA: GX1304, page 7  AUSA: This Internet search for the price of gold, when was it compared to Nadine's text about Fred saying take the box? FBI Van Wie: 20 minutes or so. AUSA: What's the user of the From line in this 11:11 am text?

 FBI Van Wie: Bob Menendez. There's an attachment  AUSA: This letter of recommendation, who signed it? FBI Van Wie: Appears to be Robert Menendez. AUSA: Under the image of the gold bar, what does it say? FBI Van Wie: As low as $59,000.

AUSA: What does Nadine text Fred? FBI Van Wie: Sick friend wanted glazed donut  AUSA: What does Daibes text Nadine? FBI Van Wie: Next time, I will bring you a donut. AUSA: Then what does Robert Menendez search? FBI Van Wie: Gold price today.  Judge: We'll break here.

[They're back] AUSA: Who emails Menendez? FBI Van Wie: Sheik Sultan J. Al Thani at Heritage Advisors... He later gets from Fred Daibes this press release about Qatar and Yemen... Then praise about Qatar's work in Afghanistan, from NYT, and Pottinger on a TV show 

AUSA: What is this? FBI Van Wie: A photo of Robert Menendez, Nadine Menendez and the Emir of Qatar. AUSA: What does this say? FBI Van Wie: A shoot in the UK in October - it says, Sheikh Sultan has a place outside London and invites you for hunting, not roughing it  AUSA: What was this, to Menendez from Nadine?

 FBI Van Wie: Was it just you, Fred and Qataris in the room the whole time? AUSA: Same day as the photo of the gold bars? FBI Van Wie: Same day.  AUSA: What does this say? FBI Van Wie: Menendez wrote that Nadine's son live in Miami and wanted tickets to the Formula One race there - then he sent the Qatari the address of Andre Arslanian, for the Crypto dot com F1 tickets. 

AUSA: What's this? FBI Van Wie: Heritage Advisors letter of intent for River Road in Edgewater. Heritage shall contribute $95 million to Daibes... AUSA: Who signed for Daibes Enterprises? FBI Van Wie: Fred Daibes.  AUSA: And then the gold.. No further questions. Judge: We'll break.

 Now a witness out of order in US v. Menendez Witness: I am Geoffrey Mearns. I am the special assistant to the US Attorney. I sat in on a meeting and set up some tech, PointPoint. AUSA Richenthal: What's a PointPoint?

Mearns: A slide deck  AUSA: What does this say? Mearns: "Senator Menendez leans [sic] of mortgage payments from Hana." Judge: Can you blow that up? Looks like it says "leans" AUSA: It does. AUSA: Apart from setting up the meetings, did you play any role? Meanrs: No. AUSA: Nothing more 

Cross examination.

Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Was US Attorney Damian Williams there? Mearns: Yes. Weitzman: And Senator Menendez was not there, right? Mearns: He was not. Weitzman: Were prosecutors taking notes? AUSA: Objection! Judge: I'll allow it.

 Weitzman: Was Mr. Monteleoni taking a lot of notes? AUSA: Objection! Judge: Sustained. Move on. Weitzman: Were there other topics addressed in the 44 page PointPoint? Judge: Sustained Weitzman: Did you take notes? Mearns: No. Weitzman: Did you pay attention? Yes 

Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Were you preparing for a press conference? Judge: Sustained. Weitzman: Can we have a brief sidebar? Judge: No. We've gone over the scope. But I'll ask: Do you recall if Senator Menendez' lawyer was just reading or more? Mearns: More.  Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Did he speak in an animated voice-

Judge: "Like this" (comedic voice, then) Sustained.

Weitzman: Did he say this is being presented and can be provided to the grand jury? Judge: Sustained. [Sidebar]  After long sidebar(s) Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: You don't remember everything Senator Menendez's former lawyer Mr. Lowell said, do you? Mearns: No. Weitzman: Nothing further.

 [Now FBI Agent Van Wie back on the stand, on cross]

Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Was there a prior version of this chart that referenced D203? Agent Van Wie: I don't recall. Weitzman: You've seen Senator Menendez' press release about housing Afghans? A: Yes  Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Do you recall any other Senator offering this praise to Qatar? Van Wie: No, no Senator.

Weitzman: Any member of Congress? Van Wie: Rep. Meeks, I believe. Weitzman: Any indication Senator Menendez traveled hunted outside of London? A: No  Weitzman: I have quite a bit more Judge: We'll break here.

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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