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25 June, 2024
 
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Bob Menendez to implicate his wife in May corruption trial

Unsealed court papers reveal Senator's potential defense tactic

Newsroom

In a case unsealed Tuesday, court papers suggest that Sen. Bob Menendez may seek exoneration at his May bribery trial by implicating his wife, according to CNN, claiming she kept him uninformed about any potentially illegal dealings with New Jersey businessmen. Several sentences from a January court filing by the Democrat's lawyers were unsealed in Manhattan federal court after media outlets, including NBCUniversal Media and The Associated Press, insisted on public disclosure. According to these passages, Menendez intends to testify about what he views as exculpatory communications with his wife, Nadine, if he chooses to take the stand in his defense.

The unsealed documents indicate Menendez's legal team's plan to argue that the senator lacked the knowledge necessary to commit a crime and did not agree to the conspiracies outlined in the indictment against him. They suggest that any wrongdoing could be attributed to others, possibly including his wife, rather than the senator himself. However, the lawyers claim they are unaware of any unlawful conduct.

While initially denied, the motion to sever the trials of the senator and his wife was eventually granted by Judge Sidney H. Stein due to Nadine Menendez's upcoming surgery, postponing her trial until at least July. The Menendezes, along with two businessmen, have pleaded not guilty to charges related to an alleged bribery scheme involving cash and gold bars exchanged for political favors. A third businessman, Jose Uribe, has pleaded guilty to bribery charges and agreed to testify against the others at trial.

According to the indictment, the Menendezes are accused of accepting bribes to assist businessmen in securing lucrative deals, including a meat certification deal with Egypt and an investment fund deal with Qatar. Menendez resigned from his position as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in September amid these allegations.

The redacted passages from the March filing were unsealed following arguments from media organizations, asserting the public's right to access the documents.

[Information sourced from CNN]

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