A new report alleges that federal prosecutors are investigating the wife of Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, determining whether or not she received gifts or services from individuals seeking favors from him.
Associates of Menendez’s wife, Nadine Arslanian, have been issued subpoenas by the U.S. Southern District of New York, The Wall Street Journal reported. The subpoenas are seeking information related to Menendez and Arslanian, who were married in 2020. The WSJ report doesn’t specify the information prosecutors are seeking related to Arslanian.
Prosecutors also subpoenaed a New Jersey lawyer whom they believed to be a longtime friend of Arslanian several months ago. New Jersey media reported Arslanian was an international businesswoman when she married Menendez.
The ongoing probe dates back to 2019, according to court records, and stemmed from when federal investigators executed search warrants at the home and office of Wael Hana, the founder of IS EG Halal, an Edgewater, N.J., company that was designated the only business allowed to certify Halal meat being exported to Egypt.
Court records from 2020 filed by Lawrence Lustberg, a lawyer for Hana, reveal that prosecutors were investigating undisclosed foreign lobbying and other violations of federal law. Lustberg and Hana were seeking the return of property seized by the government.
Lustberg said in a statement that Hana is aware of the government’s ongoing investigation and asked prosecutors to share more information about the focus of the probe so he can address concerns.
“Once he has the opportunity to do so, and the truth comes out, he is confident that the government will recognize that he has done absolutely nothing wrong, including that IS EG was awarded its Halal certification contract with Egypt without any assistance whatsoever from any U.S. public official,” Lustberg said.
Menendez serves as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee after he was first elected in 2006. He was subject of a separate corruption probe brought by prosecutors in 2015, but that probe led to a mistrial.
When asked for comment by the WSJ, a spokesman referred them to a previous statement saying, “As always, should any official inquiries be made, the senator is available to provide any assistance that is requested of him or his office.”
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