Sen. Bob Menendez’s Corruption Trial Begins with Jury Selection

Sen. Bob Menendez’s Corruption Trial Begins with Jury Selection

Sen. Bob Menendez, a Democratic senator from New Jersey, is set to face his second federal corruption trial as jury selection begins today. Menendez, along with his wife Nadine and three businessmen, is accused of accepting bribes, including bars of gold and a Mercedes convertible. The trial comes after a mistrial in 2017 due to a deadlocked jury.

The 18-count indictment alleges that Menendez and his wife received bribes between 2018 and 2022 in exchange for political favors for the governments of Egypt and Qatar, as well as for the co-defendants Wael Hana, Fred Daibes, and Jose Uribe. While Hana and Daibes will be tried alongside Menendez, Nadine’s trial has been postponed until July for health reasons. Uribe, who has taken a plea deal, is cooperating with the authorities and is expected to testify.

Menendez’s defense team has indicated that they may argue that Nadine withheld information from her husband, leading him to believe that nothing illegal was taking place. Additionally, the senator’s lawyers have been in a dispute with prosecutors over whether an expert psychiatrist should be allowed to testify, claiming that Menendez’s hoarding of cash was a result of past traumas rather than accepting bribes.

During the trial, which is expected to last four to six weeks, jurors will likely hear about the seizure of 13 gold bars worth $150,000, $486,461 in cash, and a 2019 black Mercedes-Benz C-Class from the Menendez’s Englewood Cliffs home. The couple is also accused of receiving other costly gifts, such as an exercise machine, an air purifier, home mortgage payments, and money for a “low- or no-show job” for Nadine.

Prosecutors allege that Menendez, while serving as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, acted as a foreign agent for Qatar and Egypt, including providing sensitive US government information to the Egyptian government. Menendez stepped down as committee chair after his indictment. The senator has vehemently denied the charges, and Nadine, Daibes, and Wael have all pleaded not guilty.

Menendez’s previous bribery case involved allegations of accepting gifts, such as all-expense-paid vacations and private flights, from a doctor friend in exchange for using his office to help the physician with visa issues and a Medicare billing dispute.

Author: CrimeDoor

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