Potential jurors in the Menendez corruption trial have been told that U.S. senators may be called or subpoenaed as witnesses

NEW YORK – The names of some prominent U.S. senators, including Republican Lindsey Graham and Democrat Cory Booker, were mentioned Tuesday by a federal judge, warning future jurors about a list of people who could be named or who could testify in the New York corruption trial of Sen. Bob Menendez.

Judge Sidney H. Stein also read the names of, among others: Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland. Other names include former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, former New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, and current and former state lawmakers.

The second day of the Democrat’s trial unfolded amid an atmosphere of the court struggling to fill the jury, with Menendez sitting alone at the defense table for much of the morning and early afternoon while potential jurors who argued they were unfit to serve were questioned by judge in the room just outside the courtroom.

” READ MORE: Senator Bob Menendez’s corruption trial begins, the second in the last decade

Stein has heard a variety of reasons why individuals say they should be released from the Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, resident’s trial, which is expected to last until July. Some cite health reasons, others say it will have too much of an impact on their work or travel plans.

But several expressed concerns that they had heard too much to be honest in the case in which Menendez, 70, was charged with bribery, extortion, fraud and obstruction of justice, as well as acting as a foreign agent for Egypt.

“I am a news junkie and I have already learned about this matter significantly. As soon as I walked in, I knew it was Bob Menendez,” said one of the jurors.

“Like a lot of people,” the judge shot back, then asked if the man could still decide the case based on his trial testimony. The man said he thought he could.

During the selection process, jurors were identified solely by numbers. It was unclear when opening statements might begin.

Prosecutors say Menendez and his wife accepted bribes, including: gold bars, cash and a luxury carfrom three New Jersey businessmen in exchange for official deeds. He is on trial alongside two businessmen, while a third pleaded guilty as part of a cooperation agreement and is expected to testify on behalf of the government.

” READ MORE: Bob Menendez is losing money while the New Jersey senator’s legal troubles escalate and his fundraising plummets

Menendez’s wife will face a separate trial in July.

All defendants have pleaded not guilty to charges that they used Menendez’s power as senator to their advantage when he was showered with gifts.

After his arrest last fall, Menendez was forced to resign from his influential position as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

After three terms in the Senate, he announced that he would not run for re-election this fall from the Democratic Party list, although he did not rule out that he would run as an independent candidate.

Menendez has already appeared in court in an unrelated case. In 2017, the federal the jury deadlocked in connection with corruption charges brought in New Jersey, and prosecutors did not request a retrial.

In the new case, the indictment accused the senator of taking actions on behalf of businessmen that benefited the governments of Egypt and Qatar. Menendez insisted he did nothing unusual in his interactions with foreign officials.

According to the indictment, co-defendant Fred Daibes, a real estate developer, provided Menendez and his wife with gold bars and cash so that the senator would help him secure a multimillion-dollar deal with a Qatari investment fund, acting to benefit the government of Qatar.

The indictment also alleged that Menendez acted on behalf of Egyptian officials in exchange for bribes from co-defendant Wael Hana, after the businessman struck a lucrative deal with the Egyptian government to certify that imported meat met Islamic dietary requirements.

Get in Touch


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Latest Posts