Federal prosecutors cited previously undisclosed recordings from a confidential informant in a new filing that fires back at an effort by Sen. Bob Menendez’s attorneys to dismiss the indictment accusing the New Jersey Democrat of accepting bribes from a foreign government and conspiring to act as a foreign agent.
In a 196-page filing, prosecutors referred to the existence of recordings, made by at least one “confidential source” who discusses the case, and a host of evidence they intend to introduce.
A spokesperson and an attorney for Menendez did not immediately respond to NBC News’ requests for comment on Wednesday night.
Prosecutors wrote in the filing that “the recording by a confidential source discussing the bribery scheme reflects that there was no honor among thieves.” The recording also suggested that Menendez and his wife had been “swindled” by co-defendant Wael Hana, a New Jersey businessman who had not given them “the full value of the bribes they should have received,” they wrote.
An attorney for Hana did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday night.
Menendez and his wife are accused of taking bribes from Hana. In exchange, Menendez allegedly used his position as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to help Hana win an exclusive halal meat inspection contract with the Egyptian government.
Menendez’s attorneys have sought to get the indictment tossed out, arguing that Menendez’s activities were protected under the Constitution.
Prosecutors argue in the filing that the evidence shows Menendez’s participation in a conspiracy with Hana which was the subject of a bribe and an alleged scheme to benefit the Egyptian government.
“Far from undermining that Menendez and Hana were in a conspiracy, the evidence that Hana allegedly took more of what he recognized as bribes and shortchanged the Menendezes is proof that the bribery scheme indeed existed,” they wrote.
Prosecutors have also shared certain items of discovery, including “information from a particular confidential source, including recordings made by the source, reports of debriefings with the source, and draft translations of the recordings,” according to the filing.
Menendez and his wife, Nadine, are accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars to enrich Hana and two other New Jersey businessmen and to profit he Egyptian government in exchange for the lawmaker’s influence.
Menendez and the other four defendants in the case have denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty. Menendez temporarily stepped down as chair of the Foreign Relations committee shortly after his indictment. He continues to serve as a member of the panel.