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In Menendez Trial SFRC Staffer Arkin Testifies On Way to State Then FRBNY on Seized Cash

by Matthew Russell Lee

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 25 – 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.

On June 24, Menendez's staffer Sarah Arkin took the stand, from the thread

On June 25, Sarah Arkin finished up, including about upcoming job at State Department. Then, a currency (and money laundering) expert from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. From the thread:

OK - now in US v. Menendez staffer Sarah Arkin still on cross about Egypt & Qatar, bribes and praise on Yemen.

Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Isn't it true that since the Camp David Accords, the US views military aid to Egypt as in its interest? Arkin: That's what the State Department argues. Congress does continue to authorize those funds. Weitzman: Egypt fights terror?  AUSA: Objection. Weitzman: Doesn't the current administration seek to counter the influence of Iran? AUSA: The current administration is not relevant to this case. Arkin: The Trump administration sought to forge ties to counter Iran. 

Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Sometimes you had disagreements with Senator Menendez on how vocal to be in criticizing Egypt on human rights? Arkin: What do you mean? Weitzman: You drafted a stronger letter, right? Arkin: And the Senator didn't want to issue it  

Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: And he's the elected official, right? Arkin: Yes. Weitzman: Sisi is a military dictator, right? AUSA: Objection. Her personal view is not relevant. Judge: Sustained. Weitzman: He is well informed? Arkin: Yes. Judge: He's your boss, yes?  Arkin: Not right now. Judge: You're with the SFRC and he's the chair.

Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: He's no longer the chair. And you're about to move, right? Arkin: To an agency. Weitzman: To State. We'll get to that later.  Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Did the Muslim Brotherhood kill Coptics? AUSA: Objection! 403! Judge: Sustained. Weitzman: Did Sisi outlaw the Muslim Brotherhood? Arkin: Effectively, yes. Weitzman: So do other Gulf States? Does Saudi Arabia? Judge: Sustained. 

Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Senator Menendez attended dinners and social events in NYC near the UN, right? Arkin: Yes. Weitzman: Some were on his schedule or calendar, and some were not, correct? Arkin: It seems. Weitzman: But you'd like to know? Arkin: Yes  

Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: The Senator took calls from foreign leaders on his cell phone? Arkin: I don't know. Weitzman: President Trump had his cell phone taken away, but Senator Menendez didn't, right? Judge: Does he receive calls from foreign leaders? IDK 

Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: You wouldn't know of every call he made with a Lithuanian parliamentarian? Arkin: Maybe Weitzman: Do all staff members expect readouts? Arkin: Yes. Weitzman: Have you spoken with every staff member? AUSA: Objection! Judge: I'll allow it 

Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Here's an email about another meeting by Senator Menendez with Egypt - it's to Brett O'Brien, are you aware he is a lobbyist for Egypt? Arkin: No. [… Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Did Nadine also attend a meeting with Armenia's foreign minister? Arkin: Yes. Weitzman: Did Tasos, a friend of Senator Menendez, attend meeting with Cypriot leaders? Arkin: I was never in those meetings so I don't know.  

Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Are you aware the Richard Gere attended a meeting with Senator Mitt Romney and Tibet leaders? Arkin: No. Weitzman: And that Endy Zemenides of Chicago attended meeting with Greece? Arkin: Yes Weitzman: And on Armenian genocide- IDK 

Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Nadine was the 1st CO-DEL spouse you had to deal with? Arkin: Yes Weitzman: Was working with Nadine challenging? Arkin: Yes Weitzman: She had interests to travel in Egypt and shop, right? Arkin: She did. She wanted to go to Lebanon too  Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: You got the email about Mr. Helmy's meeting with the Senator about the GERD dispute, right? Arkin: I did. Weitzman: Do you remember President Trump said he was worried Egypt might blow up the dam? Judge: Sustained. 

Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: President Trump put Treasury Secretary Mnuchin in charge of negotiating GERD? Arkin: Yes. Weitzman: And Mnuchin was before that a movie producer? Judge: I'll allow it. Arkin: Yes.  [After a long break to negotiate a stipulation] Menendez's lawyer Adam Fee: The parties agree to this entry on the list of Arab Republic of Egypt diplomats provided to the US Department of State. Judge: Mr. Weitzman, continue and conclude your cross examination. 

Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Did they advise you not to answer questions Yes or No? Judge: Sustained. Weitzman: Have you gone on any CO-DELs? Arkin: Only one, to Munich. Weitzman: Are there many CO-DELs to Egypt? Arkin: Recently yes, after the Oct 7 attack in Egypt  Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: You know that Senator Menendez has met with the Mossad? Arkin: Yes. Weitzman: What is the Mossad? AUSA: Objection! Judge: Sustained. 

Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: You are aware that Tasos conveyed a message that the President of Cyprus offered Senator Menendez a car during his CO-DEL there? Arkin: He was on vacation there. We converted it into a CO-DEL so that the US embassy could provide the car   Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: You recently went to Senator Menendez' office and told you were taking the job at State - that is a promotion? Arkin: I'm excited about the job.

Weitzman: Before, you worked for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz? Arkin: Yes.  Arkin: I worked for Senator Menendez for seven years, and other than the allegation that I said he would not meet with Sisi, he was a fine mentor. Now, my job at SFRC was tenuous so I was glad the State Department job came up Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Check this

 [It, Exhibit G 3A-8, says "the two Qatari officials will be accompanied by Sasha Boljanovic, former [Serbian] Ambassador Vladimir Petrovic" Petrovic is described as a Dem-aligned lobbyist; a Sasha Boljanovic is depicted in UN world (and next Gold Bar Bob book]

 Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Are you aware Rep. Meeks praised Qatar, in replying to WFP's David Beasley? Was he Senator or Governor of South Carolina? Arkin: Something like that  Nothing further. Judge: We'll break.

 Re-direct. AUSA Richenthal: Did you also meet with counsel for Senator Menendez? Arkin: I did. AUSA: In the letter to Senator Cardin is he referred to, as Menendez is, as a sincere friend of Egypt? Arkin: He is not.  Next witness is a bank note expert from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, named Catania

AUSA: How many of the bills we asked you about were you able to track? Catania: Over 4800. AUSA: What are the latest that these bill were paid out?

Catalia: December 2019  Now cross examination - Judge says he's like it finished today, to get this witness on and off Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: The serial numbers have series years, right? FRBNY witness: Yes. Weitzman: Let's filter Series 2009 and 2009-a.... [Does]  

Judge: That's it for today [Jury leaves] AUSA: We won't be able to end our evidence tomorrow. Thursday or Friday. Judge: We'll go Friday to 2 pm. AUSA: We'll have a jeweler, NJ prosecutor, and Senate Ethics...  Judge: We're done

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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