Corruption Trial of Sen. Bob Menendez to Precede Trial of Wife Nadine, Judge Rules

In a recent ruling, senior US District Judge Sidney Stein has determined that the corruption trial against New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez will proceed before the trial of his wife, Nadine Menendez. The trial of the 70-year-old Menendez is scheduled to commence on May 6, while the trial of Nadine Menendez is tentatively set for July 8. Nadine’s legal team requested a delay due to her upcoming surgery for an undisclosed medical condition.

Judge Stein emphasized the need for stability and certainty for all parties involved, stating, “This trial is going forward without Mrs. Menendez.” The government will now have to try the case twice, as prosecutors did not object to Nadine Menendez’s request for a delay. However, they had requested that the trials of the Menendezes and two other defendants be pushed back to July or August to avoid inefficiencies and unfairness, including the need to recall numerous witnesses.

Furthermore, Judge Stein granted Nadine Menendez 30 days to find new attorneys after her current four-member representation team filed a motion to withdraw from the case. Prosecutors had informed the judge that they may call one of Nadine’s current lawyers, David Schertler, as a witness in the trial.

Both Bob and Nadine Menendez are facing 18 criminal counts in a wide-ranging bribery case and have pleaded not guilty. Co-defendants Wael Hana and Fred Daibes have also pleaded not guilty to allegations of providing cash and gold bars to the Menendezes in exchange for political favors. Prosecutors claim that Menendez assisted Hana in securing a lucrative halal meat-certification deal with Egypt and helped Daibes secure a deal with a Qatari investment fund.

Jose Uribe, a third businessman involved in the case, pleaded guilty to bribery charges on March 1 and has agreed to testify against the others at trial. Uribe stated that he conspired with Nadine Menendez and others to provide her with a Mercedes-Benz in exchange for access to her husband’s power and influence.

It is worth noting that Sen. Menendez announced last month that he would not seek re-election as a Democrat but left open the possibility of defending his seat as an independent. In 2017, Menendez avoided conviction in a separate bribery case due to a hung jury and was re-elected to the Senate the following year. Following the unsealing of the indictment in September, Menendez stepped down as the chairman of the influential Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Despite calls from fellow Democrats to resign, he has attended numerous classified briefings in the interim.

Author: CrimeDoor

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