Trial Testimony Highlights Wife Of Sen. Menendez And Her Role In Alleged Bribery Scheme

In the ongoing corruption trial of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), federal prosecutors have presented evidence suggesting that the senator’s wife, Nadine Menendez, played a crucial role in an alleged bribery scheme involving New Jersey businessmen Wael “Will” Hana and Fred Daibes.

Through a series of texts, emails, and calls, prosecutors aimed to demonstrate how Nadine Menendez inserted herself into the senator’s political activities soon after they began dating in 2018 and expected to be compensated by those who benefited from her husband’s support. In one instance, an attorney involved in the alleged scheme texted an associate, stating, “It is extremely important that we keep Nadine happy.”

Nadine Menendez introduced Sen. Menendez to Hana, who is now one of the senator’s co-defendants. Prosecutors allege that Hana bribed the couple to secure the senator’s help in releasing U.S. military aid and arms to Egypt, ensuring Hana could obtain a lucrative monopoly on halal meat exports to the country.

However, as Hana’s relationship with Nadine Menendez soured, she complained to the senator and his friends that Hana had reneged on promises to bail out her home from foreclosure and provide her with various financial benefits. The texts also show that Nadine Menendez suggested talking points to the senator at Hana’s direction and claimed to have participated in meetings with Egyptian officials.

Prosecutors also presented evidence linking co-defendant Fred Daibes to the Egypt scheme, including a letter offering Daibes’ help in Egypt’s effort to buy townhouses in Washington, D.C., to house Egyptian government officials.

Nadine Menendez, who was also indicted, had her trial postponed until at least July due to her battle with breast cancer. The testimony and evidence presented aim to illustrate her key role in the alleged bribery scheme.