Wednesday, January 3, 2024

"Once is Happenstance. Twice is Coincidence. Three times is Enemy Action."

 This one of the more memorable lines from Ian Fleming's James Bond novels.  Sen. Menendez, the Democrat from Mafialand, has a problem with criminal accusations.  A few years ago, it was underage prostitutes in the Dominan Republic.  Then it was an indictment for bribes from Turkey.  10/12/23 WABC-TV:

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Federal prosecutors in New York filed new charges Thursday against United States Sen. Bob Menendez, the New Jersey Democrat, of violating a prohibition on members of Congress from acting as an agent of a foreign principal.

The superseding indictment said Menendez "made multiple requests for the U.S. Department of Justice to commence an investigation against another person for allegedly failing to register under FARA."

The indictment was filed in Manhattan federal court on Thursday. It says the conspiracy occurred from January 2018 to June 2022. It includes four new charges and appears to mark the first time a sitting member of Congress has ever been charged with conspiracy for a public official to act as a foreign agent.

The indictment said Menendez conspired with his wife, Nadine Menendez, and New Jersey businessman Wael Hana to have the senator act as an agent of Egypt.

The indictment includes new photos of Menendez, his wife and Hana dining with Egyptian officials that prosecutors said were part of a "corrupt agreement" to provide Sen. and Mrs. Menendez with hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for official acts taken to benefit the Egyptians.

Once Nadine Menendez informed her friend Wael Hana she was dating Menendez prosecutors said the two "arranged a series of meetings and dinners" with Egyptian officials. In exchange for bribe payments Menendez was meant to help lift a block on US military aide to Egypt, the indictment said.

1/2/24 Newsmax reports new charges:

According to the new indictment, which was obtained by ABC 7, Menendez was offered high-end wristwatches, which were valued between $10,000 and $24,000.

Co-defendant Fred Daibes said, "How about one of these," in a message he sent to Menendez along with photos of the watches, the indictment said.

Prosecutors said Menendez and Daibes both attended an event on Sept. 27, 2021, hosted by the Qatari government in Manhattan.

Two days later, Daibes messaged Menendez about a Senate resolution that was supportive of Qatar as the Qatari Investment Company weighed investing in real estate with Daibes.

The Qataris were offering Menendez's wife, Nadine, tickets to the Formula One Grand Prix in Florida by March 2022, prosecutors said, and Daibes cut a multimillion dollar deal with the Qatari Investment Company in 2023.

According to the indictment, Menendez "continued to receive things of value" from the Qataris from then on. 

 Qatar.  Okay that's how they do things in that part of the world.  (It is certainly better than feeding political prisoners into multi-teethed recucling machines as is also a practice in that region, or baking babies.)  But a U.S. Senator, even one representing New Jersey?  Not okay.

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