What did Nadine Arslanian say to Bogota police at a 2018 fatal crash scene?

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Nadine Arslanian Menendez, federally indicted in a bribery scheme with her husband, Sen. Bob Menendez, struck and killed a man while driving her Mercedes-Benz on Main Street in Bogota in December 2018.

Details about the crash, which unfolded on the evening of Dec. 12, are outlined in Bogota Police Department reports obtained by NorthJersey.com and The Record.

Arslanian — who began dating Menendez in February 2018 and married the senator in October 2020 — was not charged in the incident.

A month after the crash, according to an indictment brought by the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Arslanian was texting Wael Hana, an Egyptian-American businessman also indicted in the bribery scheme, about her lack of car. Hana later provided her with a 2019 Mercedez-Benz C-300 convertible, the indictment says.

A 10-minute video shows police questioning Arslanian, who is wearing a dress and fur coat and appears on dashcam footage for three minutes before walking off camera. Police can still be heard off camera talking to Arslanian, a witness, and a retired Hackensack police officer who tells Bogota officers he came to pick up Arslanian for his friend.

What follows is a transcript of the audio recorded on the video.

What did Bogota police ask Nadine Arslanian?

Bogota police officer: OK, Nadine, I just want to get your statement. You’re being recorded. So, explain to me what happened.

Arslanian: I’m not comfortable saying anything without an attorney.

Bogota officer: You’re requesting an attorney?

Second Bogota officer: You’re not under arrest, OK. We get statements from everyone involved. We need to know what transpired and what happened on your end.

Arslanian: (inaudible, but pointing) And the guy jumped out.

Second Bogota officer: Do you have a problem with... (inaudible)?

Nadine Arslanian Menendez and Bogota police officers speak after a motor vehicle accident on Dec. 12, 2018.
Nadine Arslanian Menendez and Bogota police officers speak after a motor vehicle accident on Dec. 12, 2018.

Arslanian: I don’t have a problem with it. But the only thing is I am an attorney. You’re speaking to an attorney, so I don’t want to do anything wrong.

Second Bogota officer: I 100 percent get where you’re coming from. I get it.

Arslanian: Why was the guy in the middle of the street?

Second Bogota officer: That’s what we’re trying to figure out. Our job is to investigate everything that happens, and that’s what we’re trying to do. Obviously, the more information...

Arslanian: I didn’t do anything wrong.

Second Bogota officer: I understand. It does expedite our investigation when people can help us out, because if we can clear you from any wrongdoing, I want to get you home and comfortable and not here anymore. You know what I'm saying? Nothing against you.

Arslanian: What happens? The car’s not drivable, right? So, what happens now?

The officer explains that it will be towed away.

Arslanian: Can I get my stuff?

She also asks for a card or phone number for information on where the car will be towed.

Second Bogota officer: Before you go, I want to confirm. You don’t want to give me your phone. Correct?

Arslanian: Yeah.

Second Bogota officer: And that’s your statement? You were driving this way, the guy was coming this way and went into your vehicle?

Arslanian: He jumped onto my windshield — yes.

Second Bogota officer: OK, very good. Come with me to the sergeant.

Off camera

The primary Bogota officer is heard speaking to his sergeant and tells Arslanian that her friends can help her get anything from her car.

The officer is then heard talking to someone presumed to be Arslanian's friend, who says he's a retired cop from Hackensack. The officer tells him she isn't being criminally charged.

"I don’t even know her," the apparently retired Hackensack officer says. "My buddy's wife is friends with her and said, 'Can you do me a favor and take her up there? Because her friend just got into a car accident.'"

The retired cop is then heard asking if the investigation will go to the Prosecutor's Office and the officer says they should be good to release her tonight.

Throughout the audio, an officer is also heard speaking to someone who called the police. The person said he just missed seeing what happened, but saw the aftermath and called the police.

There is some inaudible whispering about the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office.

An officer is also heard asking Arslanian for proof of auto insurance and the car's registration back because of a miscommunication. It sounds like another friend of Arslanian also shows up and tells the officer he's "retired" and from Paramus.

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Nadine Arslanian: What Menendez wife told police after car accident