FBI agent describes listening to Bob Menendez's wife in a restaurant

 June 6, 2024

New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez went on trial last month on charges that he accepted gold bars and other assets as part of a foreign bribery scheme.

This week saw an FBI investigator testifying about how a surveillance team gathered evidence against the senator in May of 2019. 

Agents sat next to Menendez in a restaurant

According to the Associated Press, Terrie Williams-Thompson told jurors that she and another agent were posing as a married couple in an upscale Washington, D.C. restaurant.

Williams-Thompson explained that Menendez and his future wife Nadine Arslanian were seated at an adjacent table with other individuals.

The FBI agent recalled hearing Arslanian at one point ask one of the other diners, "What else can the love of my life do for you?"

The Associated Press cited Menendez's indictment as stating that the senator and his wife were eating with codefendant Wael Hana along with an unidentified Egyptian official.

FBI raid on senator's home turned up cash and gold bars

The dinner is said to have taken place following a meeting in Menendez's Senate office, during which Hana allegedly sought help from the lawmaker in dealing with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The agency was attempting to upend the religious certification monopoly that Hana's company held over all meat products being shipped from the United States to Egypt.

A Department of Agriculture official has stated that Menendez later called him and demanded that scrutiny of Hana's business come to an end.

The Department of Justice announced this past September that a raid on Menendez's home turned up nearly $480,000 in cash along with $100,000 worth of gold bars.

"The FBI has made investigating public corruption a top priority since our founding — nothing has changed," FBI Assistant Director in Charge James Smith said in a statement.

John Fetterman: Menendez has "gotta go"

Many of Menendez's fellow Democrats have been relatively quiet about their college's legal problems, a fact which was lamented earlier this year by Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. John Fetterman.

"He's gotta go," Fetterman told CNN host Manu Raju in March. "And this arrogance...where he's now saying, 'I'm not going anywhere.' It's like, my dude, you are going somewhere. It’s going to be an election or it’s going to be a conviction."

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