(USNewsBreak.com) – Federal prosecutors charged Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) with several counts related to a bribery scheme last September. In October, prosecutors added a superseding indictment accusing him of acting as a foreign agent. Though a federal court has scheduled his trial to begin on May 6, his legal team recently filed a request to delay its start. A judge recently ruled on that motion.
In mid-December, Menendez’s attorneys sought a two-month delay of the senator’s trial, citing the long discovery process involving reviewing nearly seven million documents. Prosecutors argued against the move, saying that when the court originally set the trial date, the defense had no objections, and the circumstances around the case hadn’t changed.
A federal judge in New York has rejected an attempt by Sen. Bob Menendez to delay his criminal trial until July. https://t.co/2U8LBMK4iA
— ABC News (@ABC) December 31, 2023
Judge Sidney Stein agreed with the prosecution on Thursday, December 28. In his denial, he said that the “volume of discovery material is less than defendants were concerned it was,” and the defendants knew the scope of the case. Therefore, their reasoning “does not justify a two-month adjournment of the schedule.”
Menendez and his wife are facing charges of conspiracy to commit fraud of honest services, conspiracy to commit bribery, and conspiracy to use an official office to commit extortion. Prosecutors have also charged the senator with conspiracy as a public official acting as a foreign agent.
The FBI raided the New Jersey senator’s home in June 2022 and found nearly half a million dollars in cash around the home, gold bars, and several luxury items the couple allegedly received as payment for bribes.
In the aftermath, Menendez has faced many calls to resign but has resisted. He has told his critics he believes the court case will exonerate him once all the facts are out there and that he will continue serving his state. However, he did step down from his position as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair.
Both Menendez and his wife have pleaded not guilty to all charges against them.
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