Smoking Guns And Scandal: Senator Menendez’s Alleged 'Dinner Brag' Exposed In Court

By Maria Angelino | Tuesday, 11 June 2024 11:10 PM
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Image Credit : Photo by Getty Images

In a recent revelation, Senator Bob Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, was accused of using his political influence to obstruct a state criminal investigation.

This was allegedly in return for a luxury vehicle purchased for his wife by a local insurance broker. The details of this alleged bribery scheme were unveiled during Menendez's trial in Manhattan federal court, as reported by The New York Post.

According to the prosecution's key witness, Jose Uribe, Menendez had bragged about his intervention during a dinner at Segovia, a high-end Spanish restaurant in North Jersey. "I saved your ass, not once but twice," Menendez allegedly told Uribe in August 2020. The senator was reportedly referring to his interference with state officials on behalf of Uribe's friend, Elvis Parra, who was handed a no-jail sentence after pleading guilty to insurance fraud. Menendez was also accused of meddling in a second investigation that could have implicated Uribe's family members.

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Uribe, 57, recounted several meetings with the seasoned politician, which could be crucial to the case. Menendez's defense team has previously attributed the bribery allegations to the senator's wife, claiming that she had "sidelined" him. However, Uribe's testimony suggested that Menendez was well aware of the individuals he was asked to protect. "We will look into it," Menendez reportedly assured Uribe during a meeting at Il Villaggio, a fine-dining restaurant in Bergen County.

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Uribe also testified about an encounter at the Menendez residence in September 2019. As he enjoyed cigars and Grand Marnier with the senator, Uribe was asked to write down the names of those he wished to shield from prosecution. This list was then allegedly pocketed by Menendez. The following day, the senator purportedly pressured former New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal to discuss an ongoing criminal investigation, a move Grewal described as "gross."

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In another significant revelation, Uribe claimed that he gave an envelope containing $15,000 to Nadine Menendez, the senator's wife. This was supposedly the first installment towards a Mercedes convertible. Uribe alleged that Nadine and an intermediary, Wael Hana, who is also on trial, had relayed the names of those he wanted to be spared from state investigations to the senator.

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Uribe, who lost his insurance broker license after a fraud conviction in 2011, pleaded guilty in March and agreed to testify against Menendez. Despite calls from both Democrats and Republicans for his resignation, Menendez has refused to step down from the Senate.

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The allegations against Menendez and his wife include accepting a luxury car, over $150,000 in gold bars, $566,000 in cash payments, and other gifts in exchange for political favors to local businessmen and the governments of Egypt and Qatar. The cross-examination of Uribe by Menendez's lawyer began on Monday afternoon and is set to continue on Tuesday morning.

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The case against Senator Menendez serves as a stark reminder of the need for transparency and integrity in public office. It underscores the importance of holding our elected officials accountable for their actions, ensuring they uphold the principles of limited government and individual freedom that are fundamental to conservative values.

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