x

Politics

Sen. Bob Menendez and Ηis Wife Will Have Separate Bribery Trials, Judge Rules

NEW YORK  — U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez and his wife will be tried separately on allegations that they participated in a bribery scheme, a federal judge ruled Thursday, agreeing to sever and delay Nadine Menendez’s trial after her lawyers argued that she requires treatment for a serious medical condition.

The New Jersey Democrat’s trial will remain scheduled for May 6 in Manhattan federal court, while Nadine Menendez’s trial was tentatively pushed back to July.

“This trial is going forward without Mrs. Menendez,” said Judge Sidney H. Stein. “The government is going to have to try this case two times.”

Nadine Menendez’s lawyers argued for the move in a letter to Stein this week, saying she was recently diagnosed with an unspecified condition that will require surgery in the next four to six weeks. In court on Thursday, they said she needs more time for testing to understand the nature of the condition.

A lawyer for the senator, Adam Fee, urged the judge not to hold up his client’s day in court over the issue, saying the allegations are a “specter” hanging over Bob Menendez that “effectively removes his ability to run in this year’s election.”

Prosecutors, meanwhile, contended that the entire trial should just be delayed, arguing in a letter to the judge that severing Nadine Menendez’s trial from her husband’s would result in “serious inefficiencies and unfairness” that would require dozens of witnesses to be recalled.

“We’re ready to try this case, we want to try this case,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Richenthal said in court. “We don’t want to try this case twice.”

Stein on Thursday also denied motions to dismiss the indictment outright and transfer the case to New Jersey.

The Menendezes and two businessmen have pleaded not guilty to charges that they participated in a bribery scheme in which prosecutors say cash and gold bars were given to the couple in return for the senator carrying out political favors. Bob Menendez chaired the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee until he stepped down from the role in September because of the allegations.

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

Prosecutors allege that in return for the bribes, Menendez helped one of the businessmen get a lucrative meat-certification deal with Egypt. Menendez helped another associate get a deal with a Qatari investment fund, an indictment alleges.

RELATED

Melinda French Gates says she will be donating $1 billion over the next two years to individuals and organizations working on behalf of women and families globally, including on reproductive rights in the United States.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

‘We Have Nothing.’ As Israel Attacks Rafah, Palestinians are Living in Tents and Searching for Food

DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — The tent camps stretch for more than 16 kilometers (10 miles) along Gaza’s coast, filling the beach and sprawling into empty lots, fields and town streets.

ATHENS – The sessions and luncheon of the second day of the 4th International Conference on Religious Freedom presented by the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of America, Canada, Australia and Europe were held at the iconic Zappeion Megaron in Athens on May 28.

LANSDOWNE, PA – Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Eleftheria Post #6633 of Upper Darby, continued to observe Memorial Day as it has since 1946 at Fernwood Cemetery in Lansdowne.

ATHENS – Aria Hotels, the Greek-born hospitality subsidiary of Libra Group, will build and operate four vertiports to support the uptake of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft in Greece.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis apologized Tuesday after he was quoted using a vulgar term about gay men to reaffirm the Catholic Church’s ban on gay priests.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.