Menendez Trial: Ex-Staffer Recounts Suspicious Behavior by Senator on Egypt Matters


In testimony at the trial of embattled Senator Bob Menendez, a former staffer has spoken out about unusual behavior on the part of the senator regarding Egypt. Sarah Arkin, a former aide who worked with Menendez when he chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, recalled instances that began to raise her suspicions in 2018.

Arkin noticed that Menendez sent handwritten invitations to the Egyptian defense attache in Washington, Maj. Gen. Khaled Shawky, and Egyptian American businessman Wael “Will” Hana, a gesture that struck her as unusual. She was particularly struck by the fact that Menendez’s then-girlfriend, now wife, was present at the meeting.

Arkin also testified that she became aware of hushed conversations and clandestine meetings involving Egyptians, which led her to scrutinize Menendez’s dealings even more closely. She mentioned a letter addressed to Menendez from Egypt’s intelligence chief, Abbas Kamel, which she found to be an irregular introduction.

As Menendez prepared to visit Egypt in 2021, Arkin’s concerns only grew stronger. Typically, such trips are organized by the State Department, but in this case, Menendez requested assistance from Egyptian intelligence officer Mai Abdelmaguid, sparking curiosity among colleagues.

The investigation revealed text exchanges between Nadine Menendez and Abdelmaguid discussing personal topics such as hair salons, which seemed at odds with official U.S. policy. Menendez, in the days following his court appearance, defended himself, stating, “There was no one harsher on Egypt than I was.”

Annabella Rosciglione
Annabella Rosciglione
Breaking News Reporter. Annabella is a graduate of UW-Madison where she worked at the Daily Cardinal reporting on Wisconsin politics.

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