“Reading the indictment, it certainly appears like the Egyptian government was using a classic source-recruitment pattern to get Menendez and his wife to spy for them.”

by Ken Klippenstein and Daniel Boguslaw, The Intercept

Media coverage of embattled New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez’s indictment has focused on things like gold bars and wads of cash found stuffed in his clothing — the cartoonish elements of the corruption allegations leveled by the Department of Justice.

National security experts, however, say the indictment’s reference to Egyptian intelligence officials and Menendez’s disclosure of “highly sensitive” and “non-public” information to Egyptian officials suggest that, more than a garden-variety corruption scheme, there may be an intelligence element to the charges.

bob menendez stands against a gray background

Egypt’s elicitation of information resembles a textbook recruitment pass, an intelligence operation intended to recruit an asset, four former CIA officers told The Intercept.

According to the indictment, Menendez, chair of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was sometimes asked to supply information to an Egyptian businessman who would then communicate it to Egyptian officials. The most sensitive information Menendez is accused of sharing appears to be about staffing at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.

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