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Sen. Bob Menendez’s corruption trial begins, his second within the final decade

Sen. Bob Menendez’s corruption trial begins, his second within the final decade


NEW YORK — Sen. Bob Menendez, a Democrat, went on trial in Manhattan federal court docket Monday, accused of accepting bribes of gold and money to make use of his affect to ship favors that might assist three New Jersey businessmen.

Menendez, 70, sat along with his legal professionals and listened as Choose Sidney H. Stein instructed a number of dozen potential jurors in regards to the prices in opposition to Menendez and two of the businessmen.

The choose instructed them the “sitting U.S. senator from the state of New Jersey” had been charged in a conspiracy by which he allegedly “agreed to just accept bribes and accepted bribes.”

After he warned them that the trial was anticipated to last as long as seven weeks, Stein let jurors elevate their fingers in the event that they believed they may not serve for that size of time. Then, he took them one after the other right into a separate room to ask them why.

Menendez, carrying a go well with with a pink tie, was dropped off in entrance of a Manhattan federal courthouse at 8:15 a.m. native time, 40 minutes earlier than former President Donald Trump’s motorcade handed by on its method throughout the road to state court docket, the place he’s on trial for allegedly falsifying enterprise information to cover hush cash funds to a porn actor earlier than the 2016 election.

He didn’t converse to reporters who had been saved behind barricades as he entered a safety pavilion the place everybody coming into the courthouse is scanned.

Menendez is on trial with two of the businessmen who allegedly paid him bribes — actual property developer Fred Daibes and Wael Hana. All three have pleaded not responsible. A 3rd businessman has pleaded responsible and agreed to testify in opposition to the opposite defendants. The senator’s spouse can also be charged, however her trial is delayed till a minimum of July.

Opening statements had been attainable, however unlikely, earlier than Tuesday for a trial that has already despatched the senator’s political stature tumbling. After prices had been introduced in September, he was pressured out of his highly effective publish as chairman of the Senate Overseas Relations Committee.

The three-term senator has introduced he is not going to be in search of reelection on the Democratic ticket this fall, though he has not dominated out operating as an unbiased.

It’s the second corruption trial for Menendez within the final decade. The earlier prosecution on unrelated prices ended with a deadlocked jury in 2017.

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Wael Hana, proper, leaves the federal courthouse in New York, Sept. 26, 2023. Hana is accused of paying off Sen. Bob Menendez for serving to him get a profitable cope with the Egyptian authorities to certify that imported meat met Islamic dietary necessities. (Picture: Seth Wenig, Related Press)

Within the new case, prosecutors say the senator’s efforts on behalf of the businessmen led him to take actions benefitting the governments of Egypt and Qatar. Menendez has vigorously denied doing something uncommon in his dealings with international officers.

In addition to prices together with bribery, extortion, fraud and obstruction of justice, Menendez is also charged with appearing as a international agent of Egypt.

Amongst proof his legal professionals should clarify are gold bars price over $100,000 and greater than $486,000 in money present in a raid two years in the past on his New Jersey house, together with cash stuffed within the pockets of clothes in closets.

The Democrat’s spouse, Nadine Menendez, was additionally charged within the case, however her trial has been postponed for well being causes. She continues to be anticipated to be a significant determine. Prosecutors say Nadine Menendez typically served as a conduit between the lads paying the bribes and Menendez.

The senator’s legal professionals in court docket papers have stated they plan to elucidate that Menendez had no information of a few of what occurred as a result of she saved him in the dead of night.

In line with an indictment, Daibes delivered gold bars and money to Menendez and his spouse to get the senator’s assist with a multimillion-dollar cope with a Qatari funding fund, prompting Menendez to behave in methods favorable to Qatar’s authorities.

The indictment additionally stated Menendez did issues benefitting Egyptian officers in trade for bribes from Hana because the businessman secured a helpful cope with the Egyptian authorities to certify that imported meat met Islamic dietary necessities.

In pleading responsible a number of weeks in the past, businessman Jose Uribe admitted shopping for Menendez’s spouse a Mercedes-Benz to get the senator’s assist to affect felony investigations involving his enterprise associates.

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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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