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In Menendez Trial US Spends 2 Hours on Half of Closing Then Menendez Says Only Charts

by Matthew Russell Lee

SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 8 – 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

On June 28, the last US witness, on Menendez's M&T account, and gold in Nadine's Chase Bank safety deposit box, thread

On July 1 the defense case began, his and Nadine's sisters amid a flurry of motions, thread

On July 2, at 5 instead of 4 pm, rapid rulings on exhibits to set up Menendez's defense resting on Friday, thread

On July 3, Team Menendez rested (then outside court Menendez said the US had not proved its case so he didn't testify), thread

On July 8, after a Hana witness and charge conference, half of the prosecutors' closing, from the thread:

OK - US v. Menendez charge conference now, Wael Hana witness by video at 11 am - then closings

Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: We note that Mr. Daibes hasn't even seen a need to cross examine most witnesses... Nadine is the hub of the conspiracy...  AUSA Richenthal: It is entirely reasonable for us to argue that Senator Menendez told him lawyers what to say. The jury can decided it. But we can argue it. Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: The number of times the government argues- Judge Stein: Slow down.  Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Nadine could have given Abbe Lowell that information. You can't say there is evidence in the record that Senator Menendez gave it to Abbe Lowell. Judge Stein: That's up to the jury. 

AUSA Richenthal: We intend to move to put in four documents as a rebuttal case. Judge Stein: Did you provide them to the defense? AUSA: By email yesterday. Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: Only by 9 pm. We want them out.  AUSA Richenthal: They are trying to get into evidence a press release about Qatar and the Gaza War- a Nov 12, 2023 release. Judge Stein: You mean the October 7? I can't see how that comes in. Now we'll do a tech check to see if Mr. Hana's witness can be heard

OK - now Hana's witness on the stand / video screen. Hana's lawyer Lustberg: Did you attend an audit of this certifier Ifanca? Witness (Said Mustafa) - Yes. And I went to three slaughterhouses in the United States. Also, two Islamic Centers, with my team.  Hana's witness Mustafa: I noticed that by the slaughtering Center in California the lateral slit of the throat - it violated the rules of halal, requires transversal cut. So this Islamic Center, I noticed that.  Hana's witness Mustafa: Another slaughterhouse, they showed us a video but it was told.

Hana's lawyer Lustberg: How did you know it was old? Mustafa: The picture quality was bad. It was also on YouTube. Also their method stunning did not comply. Lustberg: No more  Cross examination. AUSA Richenthal: You work for the Egyptian government? Hana's witness Mustafa: Yes. AUSA: You had a visa denied last year, right? Mustafa: Can I answer? AUSA: Yes or no.

Mustafa: I was informed I had to wait, administrative process refused  AUSA Richenthal: Your focus was on food safety, not halal certification, right? Hana's witness Mustafa: Correct. AUSA: You visited the US for the Egyptian government before, right? Mustafa: Yes, in 2013.

AUSA: And you certified Amana of NY? Yes. No further cross  Judge: Jurors, let me excuse you for 10 or 15 minutes Jury leaves. Judge: I think I should allocute Mr. Hana. Please rise, Mr. Hana. You have a right to testify. It's your decision and yours alone. You don't want to? OK, then I assume you rest? OK.  AUSA Richenthal: We need time between the charge conference and our closing. Judge: You can call that lunch. [Some laughter]

I'll give the government time. Jury entering! Judge: Is there a rebuttal case? AUSA Pomerantz: 2 exhibits. Judge: Admitted. US rests  Judge: So I'm giving you a long lunch, then government summations... We are still on track. Thank you. Jury leaves.

Charge conference continues.

AUSA: The 219 charge incorporates if the action benefits the foreign principal... Our position was upheld in US v Calk  Menendez's lawyer Weitzman: We tried to subpoena a US State Dep't employee Ms. Cresi -- AUSA Richenthal: We oppose the proposed missing witness instruction. This is outrageous. They want jurors to think there are witnesses out there Judge: I reject the instruction  Judge: OK, we have a charge. Go get some lunch. After that, the government's closing.

[Update: 5 minutes before US v. Menendez closing arguments, just spotted / greeted by the US Attorney's (sub) Office by the Mag court, Damian Williams. Guessing he'll be attending the Menendez closing]

 All rise! AUSA: I may go a bit past 5... Judge Stein: I'll have my deputy ask them at the break. Jury entering! AUSA Paul Monteleoni: The FBI in their home found cash everything, stuffed in his boots. A Mercedes in the garage. 11 one-ounce gold bars, 2 kilo bars  AUSA Monteleoni: They found evidence of Menendez receiving reports from his wife about these things. These were bribes that Menendez took from Wael Hana and Fred Daibes for promises of official action. Egypt set up Hana with a halal monopoly. 

AUSA Monteleoni: Fred Daibes' fingerprints were on the tape on the cash. Why did Hana and Daibes shower Menendez with this gold and cash? The promise of power. Robert Menendez, chair of the SFRC, put his power up for sale  AUSA Monteleoni: Menendez promised to give confidential US information to the government of Egypt. He promised to recommend an AUSA to influence Daibes' prosecution - for Daibes he promised a resolution for Qatar, so Daibes could get an investment 

AUSA Monteleoni: There are the FARA charges, Menendez acting for Egypt. Then, obstruction for Daibes, and Menendez' attempts to obstruct the SDNY prosecution. On the Egypt bribery counts, I expect the judge will instruct you about things of value...

AUSA Monteleoni: Hana gave meals, Daibes gave transportation, these were the least of it. There's a sham job - Hana offered payment to Nadine in the form of a job. She made sure Menendez knew it. April 2018 she told Hana she was talking with Menendez about 2 deals  AUSA Monteleoni: Nadine said she kept every promise to Will - meaning, she got Menendez to do things. She wrote to him, "Seems like halal went through... Might be a fantastic 2019 all the way around." She couldn't find a consultants contract at Staples so he did 

AUSA Monteleoni: Hana's and Daibes' bribe payments were secret, but not from Menendez. The elliptical machine, it was for Bob, it's in their bedroom. Daibes gives Menendez a gold bar when Menendez and Nadine come back from Qatar and Egypt. 

AUSA Monteleoni: Daibes came by *with donuts* then Menendez searches for the price of a kilo of gold. Daibes bought donuts *with the gold.* Two kilos were found. They had serial numbers tracking back to Daibes. Nadine's family gold is a distraction 

AUSA Monteleoni: Hana gave Menendez an air purifier; his lawyer offered carpeting service, then other services. If Menendez pressured the USDA to accept Hana's halal monopoly, that was a promise of official action. Did he have corrupt intent? Yes. 

AUSA Monteleoni: Menendez writes up Egypt's response on human rights. He and Nadine have dinner with Hana at Mr Chao's, a Chinese restaurant in midtown here in Manhattan. Menendez does not want Sarah Arkin at the meeting. They got to Morton's, the FBI catches them 

AUSA Monteleoni: This McKinney call by Menendez is all you need to find all of the defendants guilty. Then there the case of the American hurt in an airstrike. Helmi has a question for Menendez. And he gets an answer in 20 minutes. That's access. 

AUSA Monteleoni: Why is Nadine getting involved in $99 million in tank ammunition to Egypt? Why is Will Hana, then a failed trucker? It moved unusually fast. They're sending thumbs-up emojis. Menendez meets with Egyptians to give a heads-up on Khashoggi questions 

AUSA Monteleoni: Menendez was acting like a bought man because that's what he was. He knows Nadine is not a consultant. Her sister confirmed Nadine never worked. But she became Hana's 2d highest paid employee.  AUSA Monteleoni: Your Honor, this might be a good place for a break. Judge: OK, we'll break.

 AUSA Monteleoni: Honest services wire fraud also on the Egypt scheme. It deprives the people of his honest services. Then there's the Jose Uribe scheme, promises of official action. The promise to attempt to pressure Grewal. This timeline is overwhelmingly obvious 

AUSA Monteleoni: Menendez did not call Grewal based on research into discriminatory prosecution - it was based on a Google search of the price of getting Nadine a new Mercedes.... After Uribe says I will not forget you. Menendez summons Grewal...  AUSA Monteleoni: There is so much more... that it might make more sense to do it tomorrow. [Laughter in courtroom] Judge: OK, until tomorrow.

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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