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New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez on testifying at his bribery trial: “That is to be decided”

New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez on testifying at his bribery trial: “That is to be decided”


Washington — Sen. Bob Menendez was at work within the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, however in 4 days he’ll be in a Manhattan courtroom as a felony defendant preventing federal corruption prices that contain the governments of Egypt and Qatar. 

The New Jersey Democrat instructed CBS Information he plans to be at his trial every single day “topic to the schedule.” When requested whether or not he would take the stand, Menendez mentioned, “that is to be decided.” 

The Senate is scheduled to be in session for many of the subsequent month, apart from the week of Memorial Day. 

Menendez has maintained his innocence since he was initially indicted in September on corruption and bribery prices alongside along with his spouse, Nadine Menendez, and three New Jersey businessmen. Since then, prosecutors expanded the fees to incorporate obstruction of justice and conspiring to behave as a overseas agent, alleging that  Menendez, his spouse and one of many three New Jersey businessmen used the senator’s place to learn the federal government of Egypt. Federal legislation prohibits Menendez, a public official, from serving as a overseas agent.

Menendez faces 16 felony counts, whereas his spouse, who can be tried individually resulting from well being points, faces 15. 

The senator not too long ago indicated he may incriminate his spouse when he heads to trial Monday alongside two of the New Jersey businessmen, Wael Hana and Fred Daibes. The three, together with Nadine Menendez, have all pleaded not responsible. 

The third indicted enterprise affiliate, Jose Uribe, pleaded responsible and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors earlier this 12 months. 

The Menendezes are accused of accepting lavish items, together with practically half one million {dollars} in money, greater than a dozen gold bars, a Mercedes-Benz convertible and residential mortgage funds, from the businessmen who allegedly sought to make use of the senator’s energy to learn their companies, Egypt and Qatar and to disrupt felony prosecutions. Menendez and his spouse then sought to cowl up the bribes by writing checks to the businessmen that had been characterised as funds for loans, in keeping with prosecutors. 

Menendez has defended his money stockpile as an “old style” behavior that had roots in his household’s expertise in Cuba. Attorneys for Menendez mentioned in a current court docket submitting that they need a psychiatrist to testify about “two important traumatic occasions” within the senator’s life that led to the “coping mechanism of routinely withdrawing and storing money in his house” — his household having funds confiscated by the Cuban authorities and his father’s suicide. Prosecutors have objected to the proposed testimony. 

Menendez has refused calls for, together with from his Democratic colleagues, to resign since he was indicted. 

“Everyone’s harmless till confirmed responsible,” Menendez mentioned Thursday when requested whether or not he was being handled otherwise than Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas, who was indicted final week along with his spouse on federal bribery prices. “That is my view. For Congressman Cuellar, that is the identical. How individuals react to it’s their place.”

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Written by bourbiza mohamed

Bourbiza Mohamed is a freelance journalist and political science analyst holding a Master's degree in Political Science. Armed with a sharp pen and a discerning eye, Bourbiza Mohamed contributes to various renowned sites, delivering incisive insights on current political and social issues. His experience translates into thought-provoking articles that spur dialogue and reflection.

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