US Senator Robert Menendez is followed by reporters after leaving the Senate Democratic Caucus, following his arraignment on corruption charges, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on Sept. 28, 2023.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
A federal judge on Monday scheduled the trial of Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and his wife Nadine on bribery and corruption charges to begin on May 6, 2024.
The pair were charged with taking “hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes” in exchange for official actions Menendez took on behalf of three business associates in New Jersey.
“Those bribes include money, goldpayments for a home mortgage, compensation for a low- or no-show job [for Nadine]a luxury vehicle, and other items of value,” the federal indictment said.
Menendez, his wife and the trio of businessmen will face trial in US District Court in Manhattan.
The couple is charged with three counts each: conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official authority. The other three defendants were charged with the first two of those counts.
Menendez has maintained his innocence and refused calls by more than half of the Democratic Senate caucus for him to resign. He accused prosecutors of distorting the “normal work of a congressional office,” and said the charges were an attack on his wife “for the long friendship he had.”
The perfect alleging that Menendez used for years his position as chair of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee to benefit three business associates. It also alleges that the senator “provided sensitive US government information and took other steps to covertly assist the Egyptian government” in exchange for bribes.
Prosecutors told the court on Monday that the case involves classified information, and that the process of appointing a classified information security officer is underway.
They also revealed that their case will depend in part on the contents of 50 electronic devices, phones, tablets and computers, all of which were seized through warrants.
A June 2022 FBI raid on Menendez’s Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, home resulted in the seizure of $480,000 in cash. Prosecutors said they found some of the money stuffed in coat pockets, and some still in envelopes that were later found to still have the businessmen’s fingerprints on them.
Damian Williams, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, spoke at a press conference after announcing Sen. Robert Menendez who was charged with corruption in the SDNY office in New York City on Sept. 22, 2023.
Alexi J. Rosenfeld | Getty Images