From the Daily Beast:
Netanyahu and Trump, who are close allies, will be meeting for the fifth time in a year that has seen their administrations buffeted by uncanny parallel challenges. On Monday, Nir Hefetz, Netanyahu’s former chief of staff and a close personal friend of both Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu, signed a plea agreement and turned state’s witness against the prime minister.
Hefetz, who has just been released after two weeks under arrest, could have a devastating effect on Netanyahu in at least three criminal investigations which have named the prime minister as a criminal suspect.
In early February, the police recommended he be indicted in two cases, one involving political favors allegedly granted to wealthy friends in exchange for lavish gifts, the other one in which Netanyahu is charged with attempting to ensure positive coverage in Yediot Ahronot in exchange for damaging the prospects of its top rival, a free tabloid owned by the Trump organization and Netanyahu backer Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas mogul.
Hefetz will be the fourth close Netanyahu associate and second former chief of staff to sign a plea deal with the state.
As news of the latest blow to Netanyahu’s legal prospects filtered out on Monday, his allies attempted to diminish its effect. Speaking to a radio news show, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovelly said “every time another state’s witness is announced you [journalists] all say it’s an earthquake, and then nothing comes of it.” […]
But most threatening for Netanyahu remain the police investigations. On February 13, the police recommended he be indicted in two separate cases of corruption, fraud and breach of trust.
On Friday, the police announced he and his wife were both criminal suspects in a third case, the telecom investigation.
As has become something of a ritual after every police examination, Netanyahu filmed a short video for his Facebook page on Friday, once again assuring Israelis “there’s nothing there.”
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