US Attorney Testifies About Improper Conversations With Bob Menendez

( – Democratic Senator Bob Menendez (D) is currently on trial for multiple bribery charges, the second time in his career he’s faced such accusations. Multiple people have taken the stand in the trial, which began in mid-May. Recent testimony from a US attorney could be the nail in the coffin for the prosecution.

US Attorney Philip Sellinger’s Testimony

On Wednesday, June 12, US Attorney Philip Sellinger, New Jersey’s top federal prosecutor, took the stand. Sellinger has been friends with Menendez for approximately 20 years. He has even held fundraisers and contributed to the senator’s campaigns. That friendship grew and the two regularly enjoyed dinner and spent time together with their children.

During questioning, Sellinger revealed that Menendez sought to discuss a case involving real estate developer Fred Daibes. It came up after President Joe Biden won the 2020 election and Sellinger began eyeing the US attorney post. He met with Menendez to discuss his view and that’s when the senator brought up Daibes, saying “he hoped that if [Sellinger] became US attorney” that he “would look at it carefully.” Sellinger noted that at the time, he knew nothing of the case and told Menendez he would look at all of the cases carefully.

The US attorney later told Menendez he might have to recuse himself from cases involving Daibes as he was involved in a lawsuit against the developer while in private practice, which could be a conflict of interest. After he notified the senator of this, Sellinger said Menendez decided not to nominate him for the US attorney position. He eventually did get the role and was told by the Justice Department that he couldn’t be involved with the case. That, Sellinger said, led to the end of the relationship between the two. However, he said that during all the years of friendship, he never felt Menendez was asking him “to do anything improper or unethical.”

But Sellinger isn’t the only one to say that Menendez tried to approach him.

Former State Attorney General Testifies

The senator also reportedly approached former New Jersey State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, once by phone and once in person, with regard to a criminal case against Jose Uribe. Grewel testified that he told Menendez he could not speak to him about the matter, but made it clear during questioning that the lawmaker did not threaten him.

Uribe also testified against Menendez, going into detail about asking him to help with a criminal matter and how he bought a car for Nadine Menendez, the senator’s wife, for helping with the situation.

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