On Sen. Menendez’s patio, businessperson says, he asked directly for help

NEW YORK — Jose Uribe, a businessperson who has said he bribed Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., in return for his help in quashing a criminal investigation involving two people close to him, testified Monday that he had asked the senator directly for his help and that Menendez had said he would “look into it.”

Uribe said that on Sept. 5, 2019, the night before Menendez met with New Jersey’s attorney general to discuss the matter, he was invited to the senator’s home in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, where he and Menendez sat on a backyard patio, with the senator smoking a cigar.

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The senator asked Uribe to write down the names of his friends who were under investigation. Menendez then took the paper, folded it and placed it in his pants pocket.

Uribe, who recounted the scene Monday during his second day of testimony at Menendez’s corruption trial, said he pleaded with the senator. “I begged him to do anything in his power,” Uribe testified, to stop any investigation “that could cause harm to my family.”

Uribe had repeatedly been asking Nadine to have her fiance intervene on behalf of his friends, eventually going to the senator himself.

“I asked him to help me get peace for me and my family,” Uribe testified at Menendez’s trial in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

But Uribe also said the men never discussed the thousands of dollars in car payments Uribe had been making for a Mercedes-Benz convertible that, months earlier, he had provided to Nadine.

“I never talked to Mr. Menendez about making payments for the car,” Uribe testified.

Uribe has emerged as the chief witness in the corruption trial.

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