Bob Menendez's Wife Used '007' Phone in Bribery Scheme, Feds Say

Senator Bob Menendez and his wife Nadine Arslanian (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images).
February 14, 2024

Sen. Bob Menendez's (D., N.J.) wife, Nadine, used a phone the couple referred to as her "007 phone" in the bribery scheme alleged against the couple, prosecutors said in a Monday court filing.

Menendez called his wife in January 2019 on "a phone Menendez and Nadine Menendez referred to as her ‘007’ phone, an apparent reference to the fictional character James Bond," prosecutors wrote in the filing, according to CNN.

Prosecutors also alleged that businessman Wael Hana—a codefendant of the Menendez couple who allegedly facilitated the bribery scheme that benefited the senator, along with the Egyptian government—bought a diamond engagement ring for Nadine Menendez as part of the bribes, which totaled $150,000.

An Egyptian source was concerned that Hana had pocketed some of the money for himself, risking damaging relations with the senator, the authorities said.

"This complaint—that the failure to deliver the full amount of the promised bribe would harm Menendez’s relationship with Egypt—obviously does not undermine the conclusion that Menendez was in a corrupt relationship for the benefit of Egypt," wrote prosecutors in the filing. "It is instead strong proof that he was."

Hana's attorney told CNN that his team would soon make a filing in response.

The case against Menendez, who has been charged with accepting bribes and using his influence to benefit businessmen he knew, as well as the Egyptian and Qatari governments, has heated up recently. Last week, prosecutors said investigators have secret recordings of conversations the senator had with Egyptian businessmen.

All the defendants have pleaded not guilty.