The Menendez Indictment: “how much is one kilo of gold worth” … “kilo of gold price”

The latest indictment of Robert Menendez almost seems like a personal challenge to Clarence Thomas, to see if there are bribes of a public official that Thomas and his cronies on the Supreme Court won’t find a way to deem constitutional.

After all, what if Thomas is getting gold bars on the side from his “friends,” as Menendez is alleged to have been?

The short version, though, is that after Menendez’ last corruption prosecution, Nadine Arslanian started dating then married Menendez. And he started doing favors for some of her friends, Wael Hanna and Fred Daibes, who had ties to Egypt, including sharing non-public information with Egyptian officials and helping Hanna secure the monopoly on halal certification for meat imported into Egypt.

The indictment alleges a lot of breath-taking stupidity on Menedez’ part, including twice searching for the price of gold after doing something incriminating.

On or about October 17, 2021, ROBERT MENENDEZ and NADINE MENENDEZ, a/k/a “Nadine Arslanian,” the defendants, returned from Egypt as described in paragraph 29.f, landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Upon their arrival, a driver for FRED DAIBES, the defendant (“DAIBES’s Driver”), picked up MENENDEZ and NADINE MENENDEZ from the airport and drove them to their home in New Jersey. The next day, MENENDEZ performed a web search for “how much is one kilo of gold worth.” As discussed herein, multiple gold bars provided by DAIBES were found during the court-authorized June 2022 search of MENENDEZ and NADINE MENENDEZ’s residence.


d. On or about January 24, 2022, DAIBES’s Driver exchanged two brief calls with NADINE MENENDEZ. NADINE MENENDEZ then texted DAIBES, writing, “Thank you. Christmas in January.” DAIBES’s Driver’s fingerprints were later found on an envelope containing thousands of dollars of cash recovered from the residence of MENENDEZ and NADINE MENENDEZ in New Jersey. This envelope also bore DAIBES’s DNA and was marked with DAIBES’s return address. In or about the early afternoon of January 24, 2022— i.e., approximately two hours after NADINE MENENDEZ had texted DAIBES thanking him and writing “Christmas in January”—MENENDEZ called Official-4, in a call lasting for approximately 15 seconds. This was MENENDEZ’s first phone call to Official-4. On or about January 29, 2022—i.e., several days after NADINE MENENDEZ had texted DAIBES, thanking him and writing “Christmas in January”—MENENDEZ performed a Google search for “kilo of gold price.”

When the FBI searched Menendez’ home last year, they found over $100,000 in gold bars, as well as $480,000 in cash.

The gold bars and some of the envelopes had the fingerprints of their alleged co-defendants.

Some of these allegations will be harder to prove. Some will be easier to pin on Nadine, unless and until one of the spouses flips on the other.

But Menendez, who escaped justice the last time DOJ tried to prosecute him for his corruption in 2015, certainly seems to have pressed his luck.

113 replies
      • Discontinued Barbie says:

        Have you read Sarah Chayes book about American corruption?
        She uses a similar case of Governor Bob McDonnell’s as a perfect example of corruption in America that was supported by the USSC. I was shocked/not shocked after reading and learning more. Up until the hell that has been the Trump/clown years I was vaguely aware of how the world really works.

        Reading about Menendez, I am hoping that there are still enough “good” people in power that the corruption will finally be able to be addressed.

        I did not feel good after reading her book. This arrest gives me hope again that maybe we can turn the tides of corruption at our highest levels.

        Albeit, reading more has me more skeptical than hopeful that the Trumps’ comeuppance is coming.

  1. Rugger_9 says:

    Well, the NYT will be extremely pleased to be able to bothsides corruption with Menendez and Thomas, and it will have some legitimacy for a change for timing and relentless quid pro quos. What’s very different is that the Senator isn’t in the position for setting policy on his own like Thomas is (especially with the shadow docket nonsense). Also, I don’t see the Ds circling the wagons to protect Menendez this time either.

    No word about whether any of this was found in a freezer like our Louisiana congresscritter in the past (who was also drummed out of the party).

    At least the NJ Ds can have some time to figure out how to replace Menendez.

  2. boloboffin says:

    Those web searches are surely covered under the Speech and Debate Clause. Senator Graham will no doubt be defending Menendez any day now.

  3. chesterfield says:

    The next time I am offered gold bars in exchange for something, I will know to google for prices of gold in pounds, not kilos. It will make any foreign connection less obvious. Buy American, you know.

      • taluslope says:

        Precisely! What’s wrong with looking up the price of gold? I was regularly looking up the price of an oz of gold a couple of years ago when I bought a couple (not kilos) for my retirement portfolio.

    • emptywheel says:

      The prosecution is in SDNY, possibly bc Menendez is accused of pressuring the NJ USA.

      So you’re safe to speak your mind.

      • sunflore says:

        In that case, Mr. Menendez should resign as my senator so as to be able to focus on his defense. Gov. Murphy can the appointment Rep. Mikie Sherrill to represent NJ voters.

        At the risk of a slap down, from a fellow Buff, Menendez has been a lingering elevator fart for too long.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          I don’t know what sites you usually visit, but your epithet isn’t worth a fart. This site is known for having the same potty mouth as Ms. EW.

            • bidrec-gap says:

              It is a good restaurant, famously his favorite. He was my congressman. The restaurant sits atop the palisades overlooking the meadowlands. My mayor, of Weehawken, was the city manager of West New York and the mayor of West New York was the president of the NJ Senate. NJ politics are weird.

              HL Mencken said, “You can’t say you are from Union Hill.” It is too declasse. Menendez was born in Union Hill which is part of Weehawken now. Wilbur Ross is also from Weehawken.

        • Rayne says:

          Is Sherrill the most likely to be appointed assuming Menendez takes a hint from his state’s Democratic Party apparatus and resigns?

          Who’s another likely appointee? Tell us more about them and Sherrill, thanks.

  4. 0Alexander Platt0 says:

    Like, I get googling it once, to make sure you’re getting a bribe that’s the right order of magnitude so you don’t pull a Dr. Evil, but to be concerned with regular market fluctuations? Is it like “I’d compromise myself for $400k, but $370k just isn’t worth it”?

    • Discontinued Barbie says:

      I think looking at the tally of political contributions, you will see that they sell their souls and our shared resources for much lower amounts. 4 digits baby!!

    • John Lehman says:

      This all might be “spare change” and only a tip of the iceberg carelessly left in their home. Hopefully investigators are checking out all save deposit boxes and international deposits they might have.

    • skyscraper says:

      …and the FBI’s weird algorithm has just perked up its ears – Commenting in thread about Menendez + Google search for price of 1 kilo of gold = obvious accomplice.

      • Frank Tim says:

        A one kg gold bar is typically ~3” long x 1.5” wide x 0.75” thick – or about the size of your cell phone.

        1 kg of $100 bills is $100k – and would be a stack of bills 4.3” thick. The gold bar would be easier to carry on your person without a separate bag – is that a bundle of $100’s in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

        [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username and email address each time you comment so that community members get to know you. Spaces and letter case matter; your last comment was published as “FrankTim” which is not the same as “Frank Tim.” Please stick with the same name each time you comment. Thanks. /~Rayne]

  5. bradford_TE says:

    I think that the units are sometimes gamed in these indictments; “multiple gold bars” and “more than $100,000 worth”; a kilogram of gold is worth about $62,600 today, so this is plausibly two 1-kilo bars.
    A 1-kilo bar of gold is, in volume, a little less than a half a stick of butter.

    I suspect all of the “bradford”s are me, but hopefully this one is unique now, and I’ll stick to it.

    [Thanks for updating your username to meet the 8 letter minimum and making it more unique. /~Rayne]

  6. WilliamOckham says:

    Menedez is going to represented by Bob Luskin, right? Surely, that will happen. It’s just too perfect.

        • bmaz says:

          Lol, Blue Sky does not work any better than Mastodon, which barely works at all. I’m fine with an alternative…when there is one that works at least half as well as Twitter. There is no such entity yet, and there are a minuscule number of people I wish to interact with on the others, and it is damn near impossible to search for them. That is simply untenable.

          • P J Evans says:

            Mastodon works better than some social media. Fewer trolls, certainly. (They just issued an update with full search.)

            • Rayne says:

              Should note, though, that the new search feature is opt-in only. Only those who want to be found using that feature can be located, which is intended to protect users as they wish from harassment and brigading.

              I am not opting in.

            • bmaz says:

              I’ve have not noticed that at all. And their “search” does not seem to work “fediverse” wide. Search is still next to useless.

          • WilliamOckham says:

            I wasn’t actually intending to reignite this particular discussion. However, the combination of your response and reading Ed’s latest post reminded me that I hadn’t checked to see if he was on Blue Sky. I switched over to my browser window for, went to their search box, and typed:

            Ed Walker

            The first result was our very own Ed Walker. All that proves is that my experience with search on Blue Sky is different from yours.

            My interest is Blue Sky is driven primarily by two different factors. One, there is enough conversation there I want to read that visiting the site is worthwhile. That’s probably important to most people and, of course, your mileage may vary depending on what interests you.

            The second reason is unlikely to matter to anyone else here. I’m interested in the technology they are using. I get paid to build distributed applications and Blue Sky is a fascinating case study.

            Because I’ve spent some time delving into the protocol and implementation, I have some opinions that might help others decide whether or not they want to invest their time and attention into Blue Sky.

            One big concern I have is that they have no public plan to sustain the site after the VC money runs out. This is a huge red flag for me, although it’s not a deal killer. One of the attractions for a lot of people is they have no advertising. I expect that will change if the site survives.

            On the positive side, their blocking and muting tools work fairly well and it is easy for semi-technical people to create specialized feeds. Someone built one for the Paxton trial that was just a list of keywords, and it worked really well (although it did pick up a few unrelated posts about the other Dan Patrick). The feeds are probably the feature that has the most potential for non-technical users and communities.

            If you are experienced building applications that handle an incredibly high volume, low latency data, there is public access to the firehose (i.e. all the posts and other events that occur). If I ever get sufficiently motivated, I might take a swing at building something off of that.

            The last thing I’ll say is that there’s never going to be another Twitter. The world has changed and the conditions that led to the rise and fall of Twitter will never repeat. Whether or not some other site can fill your (that’s a generic reference, not just to Bmaz) needs the way the old Twitter did is impossible for me to say. Social networks are an odd and unpredictable mix of the technical design (which influences the way people use them) and the needs of the individuals and communities using them. It’s a cliche for software developers that users never use the software they way they were intended to use it. And that’s a cliche because it’s almost always true. It’s even more true for social networks. And certainly doesn’t help that social networking software is built almost exclusively by people with minimal experience with life and who share a very narrow worldview.

  7. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Corruption is in the air, if the topic is Joe Biden, never mind that there isn’t a shred of evidence for it. It’s nowhere to be seen if the topic is Clarence Thomas, about whose corruption there is enough evidence to choke a horse.

    The description of Menendez’s alleged corruption, drawn from his latest indictment, makes him look like the stereotypical middle-aged man with a seven-year itch, and willing to do almost anything to scratch it. It also makes him appear to have an IQ and survival quotient of about room temperature. Pro tip for Bob, when searching for the price of gold, stick to ounces: one ounce is a standard price calculation, and avoids admitting how much of the stuff you have. Even Bob can do the math: at over $1900/oz today, a kilo is worth over $67,000.

        • 0Alexander Platt0 says:

          The whole thing’s stupid. The man’s a crook and everyone knows he’s a crook. The state party not only let him run but refused to field a credible alternative. Then people voted for him. Disgusting. Disgusting and stupid.

          • bmaz says:

            Hi there. In this country, you are NOT a “crook” until convicted. Keep that in mind. And, exactly how was the “state party” going to stop him from running? Blurting stuff like this out may feel good for you, put it really junks up our threads.

            • hippiebullsht says:

              No dude, in this country you are a crook if you are crooked; with the law, with language, with ethics…
              Crook is NOT a legal term.
              plenty of your comments are crookish with language, really a shame, because a vast majority of your comments are very insightful but you clunk out plenty of crook language hogwash.
              All the best for being your best…

              • bmaz says:

                Listen “dude”, don’t pull that garbage with me, not here. Do not, ever, put this blog in a defamation scenario, much less yourself. And that is exactly what you and Alexander Platt0 are doing. It is foolish and not very bright. If you want to pull that, be sure to do it somewhere else. But, here, you are going to have to be more careful. Much more.

                • bmaz says:

                  And, by the way, 0Alexander Platt0, stop this. Your last comment has had its status changed. If we ask you to follow a few rules here, you ought do so, not blithely go back to your initial offending conduct.

            • bloopie2 says:

              Legally, yes. But if I steal something, then I am a crook, regardless of whether I have had a court trial/conviction — and if you personally see that theft happen in real time, you are entitled to call me a crook. Disinterested people are, in fact, allowed to make valid judgments on sufficient evidence, and go from there.

              How about the moment before a verdict of “guilty” is read out loud–is the defendant any less a bad person, a thief, a robber, a briber, etc.? I think not. Webster’s defines “crook” as a person who engages in fraudulent or deceptive practice”. No invocation of a court conviction in that definition.

              Menendez hasn’t been found guilty, true. But on sufficient evidence, one can still call him a crook. We’re not in court here.

              • bmaz says:

                What a load of garbage. How many other defendants are you willing to accuse without seeing one second of trial evidence? Or any other real evidence at all? All of them, because it feels good? This is the antithesis of actual justice. Funny, I have seen people here recoil from assumed guilt without trial court evidence and plea or conviction. But you can sanctimoniously blurt that out here with none of that. Astounding.

              • Rayne says:

                I’d like you to keep in mind:

                1) this is NOT your blog; you can say what you like on your own blog where you will face any consequences for your speech;

                2) you and several other commenters should bear in mind that bmaz is a practicing criminal defense attorney with a career’s worth of experience under his belt; when he has a problem with terminology aimed at someone who has not been found guilty and is supposed to be presumed innocent until then, he’s saying indirectly he could use such language in defense.

                IOW, find a better way to express yourself on this topic. One could say “Menendez appears corrupt,” or “The evidence suggests Menendez has engaged in crooked behavior” as examples. Try harder, especially since one commenter has also reasonably suggested this may have been a foreign influence operation.

                p.s. Remember this guy? His speech and behavior may have imputed more weight to the word “crook.”

                • bloopie2 says:

                  I will try to be more careful. If you read my comment carefully you will see (I hope) that I did not explicitly accuse Mr. Mendez or call hm a crook. My point was that, outside of court, a different standard of speech applies –99.44% of the people we deal with in life never get run through the justice system and yet we comment on them. Just look at all the gleeful comments in the early parts of this comments section on what an ass Menendez was to hide the fruits of his endeavors so poorly. Aren’t such comments effectively calling him a crook? It’s an example of how we judge people, as we need to do so in everyday occurrences and in long term relationships.

                  And I wholly agree with Bmaz’s stance/position as a defense attorney. He is properly doing his job, by saying what he says. I applaud that.

                  Finally, this over the top example. If I came up to you and stole something you were holding, would you be justified in immediately calling me a crook? I think so. If not, then why not? (On this blog or elsewhere.) Glad to discuss (though it’s getting late here, and my typing is going to shit, so off to the Land of Nod very soon.

                  If this blog is not allowed to reflect alternative views, from non-defense-attorneys, as to what it looks like to our plain eyes, please just say so and I won’t do it anymore.

                  My personal view right now that is that he seems crooked based on what I’ve read but I’ve only read one side of the story so I’m not yet ready to call him a crook. (But dammit, there’s got to be some word out there that I can use?

                  Thanks for your attention here. It’s nice to converse with smart, articulate people on a topic other than my boring work. I’m not solving the world’s problems here, but I am learning how to try to do that a little bit here and there and maybe thus help.

                  • bmaz says:

                    So, you think the presumption of innocence needs an “alternative view”? All I ask is that people quit blithely spewing stuff and be more careful with their phrasing. Is that too much to ask? Really? If you can’t evince the same thought in cleaner language, then, yes we have a problem. And not just this blog, but you personally. Please, just think and clean it up.

                    • bloopie2 says:

                      “All I ask is that people quit blithely spewing stuff and be more careful with their phrasing. Is that too much to ask?” Thank you, will do.

                  • Rayne says:

                    Finally, this over the top example. If I came up to you and stole something you were holding, would you be justified in immediately calling me a crook?

                    Did the senior senator from NJ physically wrest a gold bar or a pile of cash from you, assuming you could prove ownership of same?

                    More than a wee bit over the top. -___-

                • taluslope says:

                  Rayne, tell me you didn’t! “I’m not a crook” is too obvious. I didn’t even have to click through to get the reference.

                  Sorry about commenting too late for anyone to see. I just wander about on sleepless nights looking for something to amuse myself with.

  8. Tech Support says:

    The bitter aftertaste of seeing justice catch up to the undeserving and entitled is knowing how long the chase dragged out.

  9. higgs boson says:

    Yes, VERY stupid to actually Google the price of gold, when you could go to Reuters or any of thousands of other financial sites that list the price of gold and a whole lot of other commodities.

    “No, I was just checking on my stock portfolio….”

    • bidrec-gap says:

      I worked for Reuters. There were four prices of gold:
      ZQL, the price of gold in London,
      ZQF, the price of gold in Frankfurt,
      ZQH, the price of gold in Hong Kong, and ZQD which was the domestic (American) price of gold. The domestic price was set in Providence by a bank called Rhode Island Hospital Trust.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Those are four regional markets that publish market prices for gold traded on their exchanges. They help buyers and sellers establish the price for non-market trades.

  10. ShallMustMay08 says:


    1st read today was CT pro publica followed by this indictment and landed here. I find it hysterical in a sick way.
    Once you get started with the meal plan life’s little pleasures naturally takes its own course …

    I’m old enough to remember splitting the check if I felt there was a mere expectation of a return on investment.

  11. Matt Foley says:

    Part 1: Get indicted.
    Part 2: Run for election.
    Part 3: Use election fund to pay lawyers.
    Part 4: Cry “election interference!”.
    Whoever thought of this strategy is a criminal mastermind!

  12. KittyRehn says:

    I’ll have to do a bit of back reading on the previous corruption charges, as I’m not too familiar with them, but how dense do you have to be to keep your cash bribe in the same envelope you received it in? *Especially* when it has the return address of the person bribing you written on it. Baffling.

  13. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Bob Menendez must be in deeper shit this time, because he’s claiming the “establishment” is out to get him because his parents were Cuban immigrants. Taking a page out of Trump’s playbook, he’s focusing on getting the immigrant vote more than he is defending himself against what appears to be overwhelming evidence of remarkably stupid criminal conduct.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Yeah, earl, I saw that too. And wondered what audience is he going for? Rubio’s voters? Trump’s base? Menendez has spent his entire career becoming “the establishment,” seemingly so he could milk it for his own ends. Because I was born to Chicagoans, this seems like normal politician behavior, and here in Connecticut John Rowland did his suburban ranch-style version of the same.

      My conclusion is that Menendez just isn’t very bright. I don’t see this working.

  14. boatgeek says:

    If a public figure is going to be corrupt, the very least they can do is be corrupt in a vaguely smart way. Who keeps a few hundred thousand dollars in cash in their leisure suits? Why keep the gold in their own house and not some other secure storage? Why keep the gold with fingerprints on at all instead of selling it off? I’m not even a professional and I could do a better job than this.

    On a side note, I have once held a ~30-lb brick of gold, worth around $300K in the early 90’s. It was at a gold mine that I was touring, and we were all scanned very carefully on leaving the room with the safe.

    • Just Some Guy says:

      That reminds me of a vaguely funny story my dad (who died earlier this year) told me a few years ago about touring a gold mine in Nevada when he worked in commodities in the 1970s. One of the reasons he was there was to propose a contract for securely shipping the extracted gold to a refinery. Long story short, the contract offer was not accepted, and his company did not get the business but the mine started shipping gold ore just through the plain’ ol’, good ol’ United States Postal Service. I wonder how much of it never made it to the refinery!

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Worked just fine for the Hope Diamond. Once in the postal system, one package looks like any other, as if it were joining the Lost Ark in a govt warehouse.

      • boatgeek says:

        In this case, it was a cyanide leach mine, so it took many tons of ore to get an ounce of gold. Shipping charges would have been rough.

      • taluslope says:

        Sorry to hear about your dad. My story to my children is that Los Alamos used to (maybe still does) buy gold towards the end of the fiscal year to hide money that would be lost if not spent by the end of September. Then the next fiscal year they won’t need to buy as much gold and can use the funds for other purchases.

  15. Martin Cooper says:

    As a retired intelligence professional, I read this tawdry story as a classic “honey trap” beautifully executed by Egyptian intelligence. Nadine appears in Bob’s life somehow, has friends in the Egyptian military (the “General”), and soon Bob is tasked to provide Egypt with the unclassified but sensitive staffing roster of U.S. Embassy Cairo. He complies. That’s classic espionage tradecraft—task the recruitment target with something not too outrageous but a rule breaker nonetheless. If the target will break one rule (and accept compensation for it) it’s more likely he or she will break another…and another…and another. And thus does Egypt get valuable clandestine assistance with its foreign military sales and financing problems from the very influential chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. I’ll leave to others comment about Bob’s involvement with Nadine’s friends closer to home.

    • emptywheel says:

      I was wondering that but as laid out the Egyptian side of it sort of craps out. I guess i need to do a timeline.

      • AlisonKLA says:

        I was very confused by the conflicting reports of the Menendezs’ romance in the Washington Post and the NYT, which includes their engagement story in a column that says they met in early 2019, among other articles about them (one from August 2023 focuses on her legal problems.)

  16. Fraud Guy says:

    What is it with a certain type of mind and the propensity for gold?
    Trump: Golden Bathroom
    Blagoyovich: “I’ve got this thing and it’s f—ing golden!”
    Menendez: Bars of gold

  17. bloopie2 says:

    I’m reading (sort of – it’s paywalled) that Abbe Lowell is defending him again. Huh. I guess we’re all innocent until proven guilty, but still … guess I’d better stop making those pre-conviction judgments (like the one I’ve made on Hunter Biden).

    • LadyHawke says:

      I recognize his handle. Can’t comment there, so will do so here: I like both the instrumentals and vocal, but couldn’t make out some of the latter. The tracks need to be better balanced and the vocal brought out. Not that my audio editing skills good enough, but perhaps a real pro can work it a bit. Quality sound design can make all the difference.

  18. PD-Japan says:

    I am a NJ voter, voted against Menendez in the primary but held my nose and voted for him in the general election. Is not the Democrats holding onto the Senate more important than clean hands ? Where is the tipping point, hopefully I will not need to make that choice again.

    [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username and email address each time you comment so that community members get to know you. Same also means matching the letter case and personal URL you’ve used previously. The comment system believes you have (3) different identities because each of the three comments you’ve published here contained different case/URL/email addresses. Future comments may not clear if these fields do not match. Thanks. /~Rayne]

      • FL Resister says:

        You mean her work is maybe done?
        Evidently, Nadine has had a long-time “friendship” with Wael aka “Will” Hana, one of the Defendants operating the bribery scheme.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Is Nadine a honey pot? I don’t know. What does that story/picture suggest to you? The unlikely trajectory of her going from being unemployed and living in a foreclosed house to launching an international consulting business is as incredible as the meet-cute of their scripted love story:

      The pair met at an IHOP restaurant in Union City in 2018, according to a New York Times story profiling love stories, and then got engaged at the foot of the Taj Mahal on a trip to India in October 2019. They married a year later in Queens.

      • Martin Cooper says:

        It’s not been unknown for an intelligence officer to instruct an access agent to stage a minor car accident in order to meet an otherwise inaccessible recruitment target. By that standard, an “accidental” or arranged encounter at IHOP is positively unimaginative, humdrum and lackluster.

          • FL Resister says:

            Since Melendez was Democratic Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, this case is an opportunity for the US Justice Department to demonstrate how equal opportunity prosecution works. Sorry to belabor the point.
            I continue to be shocked.

  19. obsessed says:

    As the author of 27 books about Cuban music, the only Democratic demises that could rival this exquisite feeling of schadenfreude would be those of Lieberman and Baucus. My fear is SCOTUS’s ongoing crusade to legalize bribery in all its forms.

  20. P’villain says:

    Sloppy diction and presumption of innocence aside, it’s never a good look to have $480,000 in cash sitting around the house, in the original envelopes to boot. What was he thinking? WAS he thinking?

  21. Martin Heldt says:

    The indictment makes it clear (paragraphs 40-41) that the US Attorney for the District of New Jersey acted corruptly. I hope Biden sacks him quickly.

  22. Fly by Night says:

    I’m as far from being a high roller as one can get, but isn’t gold a taxable investment? As such, it should be very easy to prove the provenance of those gold bars. If Menendez obtained them legitimately he should have receipts which can be tracked back to the source, plus financial records of the actual purchase.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      In the context of a modern investigation, gold, like diamonds, is traceable. The bullion itself has a traceable chemical signature. If refined and made into branded products, such as Canadian Maple Leafs or Krugerrands, they would have refiner’s stamps, serial numbers, etc.

      Branded items are common because they are easily traded, as their weight and gold content are reliable, as is their market value. They can be privately traded, of course, which would make tracing a stream of owners difficult.

      Menendez may also have IRS problems. A general one, relating to undeclared income, if he took gold in lieu of cash, an unusual transaction for a sitting Senator. A specific one, if he claims he bought any of it. At nearly $2000/troy oz, it would be easy to exceed the $10,000 limit for cash payments. Transfers in excess of that amount need to be noticed to the IRS. If he claims the gold was a gift, he’ll still have some ‘splaining to do.

  23. Frank Probst says:

    I’m obviously fairly naive when it comes to accepting bribes of this size, but is there a quick and legal way of converting gold bars to cash when you need to? Can you just pull up to the bank and put them in that pneumatic tube thingie?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Selling a few ounces or fractional ounces of a branded product, a Canadian Maple Leaf, for example, could be done at any of thousands of gold, jewelry, and pawn shops. There are fewer buyers for one-kilo or larger bars, but they can still be found, especially online. Doing the right paperwork for such large dollar amount sales would be important.

  24. Alan Charbonneau says:

    “This envelope also bore DAIBES’s DNA and was marked with DAIBES’s return address”
    Hmmm… that seems incriminating. So does having the cash in a jacket with his name on it – there goes the “it’s not my jacket” defense!

    He’s innocent until proven guilty, but I don’t like his odds.

  25. Kemal Tunc says:

    Mr. Menendez, we were ashamed to read the news about you. Did you become so hostile towards Turkey for money? Being hostile to Türkiye for money instead of acting like a real senator; Didn’t you know that it was one of the greatest evils that could be done to the American people, American democracy and the Turkish people? The news about you is shameful, if you choose to be a friend of Turkey rather than an enemy, you will be a real and reliable senator!

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