Sen. Bob Menendez Bragged About Saving NJ Businessman In Bribery Trial

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) allegedly boasted to a New Jersey insurance broker, who bought his wife a Mercedes, that he had saved his “ass” by interfering in state criminal probes. This claim was revealed during Menendez’s bribery trial in Manhattan federal court on Monday.

Jose Uribe, the insurance broker, testified that Menendez made the statement during an August 2020 dinner at Segovia, a high-end Spanish restaurant in north Jersey. Uribe detailed that Menendez was referring to his efforts to influence state officials on behalf of Uribe’s friend, Elvis Parra, who received a no-jail sentence for insurance fraud, and to halt another investigation involving Uribe’s relatives.

During the trial, Uribe described multiple meetings with Menendez that played out like scenes from a mob movie. These meetings included discussions over cognac and cigars at Menendez’s Edgewater Cliffs home, where the senator allegedly took notes on the names of people Uribe wanted to shield from prosecution.

The New York Post reported that Menendez pressured former New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal to discuss an active criminal investigation. Grewal testified that he found the request inappropriate and refused to comply.

In a dramatic twist, Uribe also testified about handing Nadine Menendez an envelope containing $15,000 as a down payment for a Mercedes convertible, one of several alleged bribes totaling up to $250,000. Nadine and intermediary Wael Hana reportedly passed the names of individuals Uribe wanted to protect to Menendez.

Menendez and his wife Nadine are accused of accepting luxurious gifts, including the Mercedes, gold bars worth over $150,000, and $566,000 in cash, in exchange for political favors to local businessmen and foreign governments such as Egypt and Qatar. Despite bipartisan calls for his resignation, Menendez has refused to step down.

Uribe, who lost his insurance broker license after a 2011 fraud conviction, pleaded guilty in March and agreed to testify against Menendez. As the trial continues, Menendez’s legal team has begun cross-examining Uribe, aiming to discredit his testimony and shift the blame to Nadine Menendez.