Senator Bob Menendez and Wife Face Separate Trials in Bribery Allegations Case

Bob Menendez Robert Menendez

A federal judge ruled Thursday that U.S. Senator Bob Menendez and his wife will face separate trials on charges related to an alleged bribery scheme. The ruling followed arguments from Nadine Menendez's legal team, which cited her need for medical treatment.

While the New Jersey Democrat's trial will proceed as scheduled on May 6 in Manhattan federal court, Nadine Menendez's trial has tentatively been rescheduled to July 8.

Judge Sidney Stein explained that the decision was made to provide stability and certainty to all parties involved, acknowledging that the government will need to try the case twice.

Nadine Menendez's lawyers presented her recent diagnosis of a medical condition requiring surgery within the next four to six weeks, indicating the need for additional time for testing to understand the condition fully.

However, Senator Menendez's legal team emphasized their client's right to a speedy trial, asserting that the allegations have had a significant impact on his ability to run for reelection.

Prosecutors argued against separating the trials, suggesting that it would result in inefficiencies and unfairness, potentially requiring the recall of dozens of witnesses.

Judge Stein also denied motions to dismiss the case outright and to transfer the trial to New Jersey, affirming that the trial will proceed in Manhattan as planned.

The Menendezes and two businessmen have pleaded not guilty to charges of participating in a bribery scheme involving cash and gold bars exchanged for political favors. Bob Menendez resigned as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in September due to the allegations.

A third businessman, Jose Uribe, has pleaded guilty to bribery charges and agreed to testify against the others at trial, alleging that he conspired with Nadine Menendez and others to provide her with a Mercedes-Benz in exchange for access to her husband's influence.

Prosecutors claim that Menendez facilitated deals for the businessmen in return for bribes, including assisting in securing a meat-certification deal with Egypt and securing a deal with a Qatari investment fund for another associate.

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