Nadine Arslanian, the wife of Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., is being investigated by federal prosecutors, under the suspicion of accepting gifts or services from individuals who might have been seeking favors from the top Senate Democrat, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of New York has reportedly subpoenaed associates of Arslanian, who has been married to Sen. Menendez since 2020.
The Journal clarified that the current probe involving Arslanian has no apparent link to the 2015 federal public-corruption case against Menendez — currently the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — which eventually ended on a mistrial.
Neither Menendez, Arslanian, nor federal prosecutors offered an official comment about the investigation, the Journal reported.
However, a Menendez representative referred media inquiries to a previous statement, when the senator's office acknowledged the federal probe.
"As always, should any official inquiries be made, the senator is available to provide any assistance that is requested of him or his office," said Michael Soliman, a political consultant and adviser to Menendez.
The Journal reports the federal inquiry's origins date back to 2019.
According to court records, federal investigators utilized search warrants at the home and office of Wael Hana, the founder of IS EG Halal, a New Jersey-based company that was reportedly granted exclusive rights to certify halal meat being exported to Egypt.
Hana is also an associate of Arslanian, the Journal reports.
Among the potential infractions committed: undisclosed foreign lobbying and other federal violations.
Lawrence Lustberg, a lawyer for Hana, previously stated in 2020 court documents: "Once he has the opportunity to do so, and the truth comes out, [Hana] 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," said Lustberg, according to the Journal.
New Jersey lawyer Antranig Aslanian, a longtime friend of Arslanian who has represented Hana, has also been subpoenaed, according to the Journal.
When prosecutors questioned Aslanian about his associations with Nadine Arslanian, the former reportedly acknowledged a 25-year relationship with the latter, since both were Armenians.
"If she was somewhere and I saw her, I'd say, 'Hey, would you like a drink?'" said Aslanian. "I said to the U.S. attorney, 'Is there something wrong with that? If I saw you out, I'd offer you a drink.'"
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