Bob “Gold Bars’ Menendez, D-N.J., is running for reelection in 2024. But there’s a little problem: A bribery case. Bribery charges can mess up your plans, but Menendez and his legal team think they have an ace up their sleeves.
Menendez asked the court to postpone the trial until July. The trial was originally scheduled for May. According to Politico’s report, the defense lawyers claim that the delay was necessary because “over 6.7 million documents needed to be reviewed and an ‘unprecedented charge of a foreign agent’ as well as complex legal questions” before the trial.
Authorities have accused Menendez and his wife as well as two other defendants, of accepting bribes, including cash, gold bars, and a luxury car. A group of businessmen are accused of bribing the senator to try and take advantage of his influence in foreign policy. Menendez, who was the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the time that the alleged bribes were made, resigned after the allegations became public.
Politico notes that “the senator, his spouse, and a second defendant have all pleaded guilty to an allegation that they conspired with each other to use the senator as a government agent for Egypt, even though he was forbidden to do so as a Congress member.”
The defense team of the senator wrote that the pace of the case was “extraordinary” given the seriousness and complexity of the charges. The defense team could also seek to dismiss the indictments on constitutional grounds and claim that the federal court doesn’t have jurisdiction over these charges.
The prosecution doesn’t believe that a delay is necessary and has filed a motion to keep the trial scheduled. The prosecution argues that the May trial date is fair and reasonable.
“In summary, if the defendants were to claim that they have a right to take multiple months to digest all discovery before filing motions, then practice in this district might look very different. Prosecutors argued that the current schedule set forth by the Court was expedited but reasonable.
The prosecution is also examining the severity of the charges brought against Menendez. If these attorneys can prepare for a spring trial, then the defense should have no problem.
There is another factor that could influence the defense team to ask for a trial postponement. Menendez’s trial is scheduled to take place on the 4th of June, the day before the Garden State primary. It’s difficult to believe that Menendez would want to postpone his trial to (presumably) get through the primary without any problems and then be ready for the general elections. Menendez, who is running for a fourth term in the Senate, faces at least three Democrat rivals.
Menendez is not the first to be accused of corruption. It’s about time he faced the music. He has been troubled for years. We hope that the judge will keep this case on track and allow Menendez to face justice along with his co-defendants.