This week, further federal grand jury subpoenas were issued in connection with the investigation into Democratic senator from New Jersey Bob Menendez’s possible misconduct.
According to two persons with knowledge of the situation, subpoenas were sent to several prominent New Jersey politicians, including Nicholas Sacco, the mayor of North Bergen, NBC News reported.
A spokesperson for North Bergen told the outlet: “As they always have, Mayor Sacco and the Township of North Bergen will comply with any inquiry they receive from law enforcement and will cooperate fully.”
Menendez has been the subject of an inquiry for a number of months due to claims that he inappropriately accepted money and gifts from the proprietors of the Edgewater-based IS EG Halal halal meat company. However, Menendez and the proprietors of the business have constantly denied any misconduct in connection with the accusations.
“I know of an investigation. Don’t know the scope or the subjects and, of course, stand ready to help authorities when and if they ask any questions,” Menendez said back in October, according to NBC News.
The sources claim that there are no claims implicating the meat industry involved in any of the recently issued subpoenas, including the one sent to Sacco.
According to NBC News, the subpoenas are still a part of the wider investigation into Menendez even though they primarily seek new material involving particular legislative developments in New Jersey.
One of those who received a subpoena is the Democratic Mayor of North Bergen, Nicholas Sacco.
Here’s @jonathan4ny previous reporting on the Mayor: https://t.co/tP5SqWIhqW
— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) May 12, 2023
A day after Sacco was re-elected mayor, a subpoena was issued for him on Wednesday, the source claimed.
“On Wednesday morning Mayor Sacco was issued a subpoena seeking information and records regarding several different matters that he was informed are being sought in connection to an ongoing investigation that is not related to him,” said a mayoral spokesman in a statement issued Friday.
“Mayor Sacco has been assured that he is not a target of the investigation and was approached only as a potential witness, and he intends to cooperate fully and provide any requested information as he would with any law enforcement inquiry,” the spokesman noted further.
Both the FBI and the Southern District of New York’s U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, who is in charge of the federal inquiry, declined to comment.
Regarding Menendez and IS EG Halal, NBC News said that there are still unanswered issues about how the company managed to acquire an exclusive global deal with Egypt for certifying halal exports. This is especially true given that contracts with a number of other companies were abruptly terminated in 2019.
According to numerous sources with knowledge of the situation, certain U.S. Agriculture Department officials voiced their worries over the contract being given to a novice New Jersey company.
The source added the following:
In addition, numerous sources said Menendez’s wife is friends with IS EG’s owners. Menendez chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which oversees billions of dollars in U.S. aid to Egypt. Lawyers for IS EG have denied any wrongdoing, and the owners have said they won the contract with Egypt on the merits. Other firms in the industry, however, have been raising questions.
In 2015, Menendez was accused of illegally collecting favors from a Florida eye specialist and was charged with federal corruption. The accusations included claims that he received private jet travel, a lavish hotel stay in Paris, and more than $700,000 in political donations for the Democratic Party and himself.
According to NBC News, the mistrial in that case resulted from the jury’s inability to agree on a verdict.
Menendez, on the other hand, has been a member of the U.S. Senate since 2006. He is running for reelection in 2016. However, it might affect who controls the Senate if he is charged and forced to retire.
“Democrats slightly expanded their Senate Majority to 51 seats in 2022, but they will face a staunch challenge from the Republican party as they strive to keep their majority for a third straight term,” the Race to the White House site noted.