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In Menendez Trial Senate Ethic Director Cites Call About Bullion Then Nadine Phone Tracking

by Matthew Russell Lee

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 27 – 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

On June 26, there testimony about currency, and then a jocular Armenian jeweler, from the thread

On June 27, the Senate Ethics Committee director, then a cell site expert, from the thread:

now in US v. Menendez, Senate Ethics Committee director is day's first government witness, calls it bipartisan.

 AUSA: Who has to file disclosures? Witness: Anyone whose rate of pay is over $147,000 a year.... I am a filer. Some still file on paper, there are seven of them. [Who?]  [Note - Menendez has been given an extension to file for 2023:

"Robert Menendez requested an extension.. new due date for the report is no later than August 13, 2024. Image Witness Shannon Hamilton Kopplin: We've had to update our forms, for example to including cryptocurrency.

 AUSA: What is cryptocurrency? Kopplin: Heck, I don't know [laughter AUSA: Did you receive a call from Senator Menendez? Witness: Yes. He asked if he had to amend a prior report. I was told it was gold bullion. AUSA: What did you tell him? Witness: That he had to amend his form for 2020.  Kopplin: I asked Senator Menendez if Nadine's LLC had an office lease. He said it's something she does out of the dining room.

AUSA: Finally - and by finally I only mean, before we break - what did you mean, You will still report the highest amount of the loan?  Kopplin: I gave advice if Nadine used proceeds from the sale of gold to pay her mortgage. AUSA: Was this specific advice? Kopplin: It's very specific, I give that to a specific question. My impression is I had to have been asked a specific question.  Judge: We'll break

Now cross examination of Senate Ethics Kopplin Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: You know that Senator Menendez has two children? Kopplin: One of them is in Congress. [Rob Menendez - he told a Cuban vlogger he does not speak Spanish]  AUSA: How do you answer questions?

Kopplin: Well, I have 13 staffers, and there are 100 Senators, so yes we're overwhelmed. AUSA: Do you remember if Senator Menendez attended any ethics training? Kopplin: I didn't see him  Menendez lawyer Weitzman: So if a spouse did not disclose an asset to a Senator, the certification would still be true - you have to have knowledge, right? Kopplin: Yes.

 Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: So Senator Menendez had asked Chris Coons about the gold bullion - then he called you? Koppin: Yes. Weitzman: Did you ever learn the gold was a parental gift to Nadine? AUSA: Objection. Assumes a fact. Judge: Did he say that? No  Judge: We'll break here.

Next US witness is FBI Agent Elizabeth Wheeler

AUSA Monteleoni: What is cell site location data? Wheeler: Every time we use our phones a record is generated with the phone company. It was used for the COVID maps, too. AUSA: How many hours to join CAST? 250 hours  AUSA: GX 16c-2 - what is the time of this slide? Wheeler: June 4, 2019, a call from Uribe to the Bronx.

AUSA: This? Wheeler: Text from Nadine Menendez from the Upper West Side of Manhattan. [At defense table Bob leans toward monitor, pointing out something to Fee  Now cross examination Menendez's lawyer Adam Fee: In some cases you are part of the investigative team? Wheeler: In exigent circumstances, yes. Judge: Do you set up command centers for bank robbers? Wheeler: No. But for mass shooters, yes. 

Menendez's lawyer Fee: Why did you label that number "N. Menendez" when she was still named Arslanian? Don't you want to be accurate? [Seems that's what Bob was pointing out to Fee.]  Judge: We'll break for the day, we're relatively on track.

Afterward there was more, in the robing room and after

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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