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Sen. Bob Menendez’s corruption trial continues with more FBI testament about search of home

Sen. Bob Menendez's corruption trial continues with more FBI testimony about search of home

Gold bars circulated to jurors in Sen. Bob Menendez corruption trial

Gold bars circulated to jurors in Sen. Bob Menendez corruption trial


A day after jurors held the one-kilogram gold bars took from Sen. Bob Menendez’s home in their own hands, they’ll hear more from the FBI representative who led the search of the New Jersey Democrat’s home in June 2022. 

Legal representatives for Menendez will continue questioning FBI representative Aristotelis Kougemitros on Friday. 

Kougemitros informed district attorneys Thursday that his group mainly avoided the “fancy” FBI features when they reached the split-level Englewood Cliffs home Menendez show his partner, Nadine, to perform a search warrant. 

“We featured unmarked automobiles, which we typically have, however we had less of them,” he stated. “We didn’t have a big group, which we typically have for a search. We used controlled markings that determine us. We were delicate that we were browsing the home and performing a search warrant of a United States senator.” 

Nobody was home at the time of the search, so the group of representatives key in the code to the garage, where a black Mercedes-Benz convertible was parked, and went into your home, he stated. The FBI representative noted they needed to call a locksmith professional to open numerous doors in your home, consisting of those to the main bed room and its closets.  

Kougemitros stated the FBI was licensed to try to find numerous products of worth and took 52 products from the home, consisting of cellular phones, gold, money and fashion jewelry. 

On the flooring of among the closets, they discovered a one-kilogram gold bar inside a Ziploc bag that had actually been covered in a paper towel, he affirmed. In the very same closet they found a safe including loose money, envelopes of money, 7 one-ounce gold bars and another one-kilogram gold bar, according to Kougemitros. Money was likewise discovered in other places in your home, he stated, remembering discovering $100,000 in a satchel and 10s of thousands more inside boots and coat pockets. 

“The quantity of money that we started to find was so abundant that I directed the group that we would no longer be photographing any of the money; we would be taking the money, since I thought it was proof possibly of a criminal activity,” he stated. 

There was a lot money, the FBI representative stated, that he contacted supports. 2 FBI representatives from Manhattan “brought 2 cash-counting makers,” Kougemitros stated. 

In overall, the FBI took 11 one-ounce gold bars, 2 one-kilogram gold bars and $486,461 in money, he stated. 

Assistant U.S. Lawyer Lara Pomerantz consistently called attention to the money and gold bars that were discovered in the couple’s home in her opening declaration on Wednesday, declaring they were offered to the senator by New Jersey business owners as allurements in exchange for political favors. 

On Thursday, while questioning Kougemitros, she revealed the jury an image taken throughout the search of an envelope which contained $7,400 money. The envelope was embossed with Fred A. Daibes and an Edgewater, New Jersey, address. 

Menendez is being attempted along with Daibes, a New Jersey realty designer, and Wael Hana, owner of the halal meat business IS EG Halal, who are both implicated of paying off the senator. All 3 have actually pleaded innocent. 

A 3rd business owner who was arraigned, Jose Uribe, pleaded guilty in March and admitted to purchasing Menendez’s partner a $60,000 Mercedes convertible to affect the senator. Uribe will affirm throughout the trial. 

On Thursday, Adam Cost, an attorney for Menendez, looked for to plant doubt about whether the senator had access to the main bed room closet where the safe and gold bars were discovered, questioning the FBI representative about the place of a blue sports jacket that district attorneys are linking to Menendez.

On Wednesday, another lawyer for Menendez, Avi Weitzman, stated Menendez did not have an essential to the closet. 

—Nathalie Nieves contributed reporting. 

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