DOJ Rejects Menendez’s Attempt to Delay Trial Past 2024 Primary

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(Luis CornelioHeadline USA) Federal prosecutors in Manhattan urged a judge on Tuesday to shut down Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J.,’s request to delay his trial past his June 4 primary, the New York Post reported

In a scathing federal filing addressed to U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams defended the scheduled trial on May 6, 2024, calling it “expedited, but reasonable”  

Williams declared, “Nothing in the defendant’s request for an adjournment, made more than two months after the schedule was set, justifies a material deviation from this considered schedule.” 

The federal government’s response was prompted by a Menendez plea to postpone the trial to July. In contrast, the defense claimed that the trial should be postponed due to the “volume and timing” of the investigation’s disclosures. 

“Contrary to the government’s overheated statements to the press, this is far from an open-and-shut case,” Menendez’s attorneys countered, according to the NY Post. 

However, federal prosecutors swiftly countered Menendez’s claims on Tuesday. “If there were a right to have multiple months to digest discovery prior to filing motions, as the defendants appear to suggest, practice in this district would look quite different,” Williams responded. 

The battle between federal prosecutors and Menendez began after the DOJ leveled damning criminal charges against the New Jersey senator for an alleged bribery scheme.  

According to the indictment, Menendez allegedly illegally used his power as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee to shill for the Egyptian government through generous policies.

In return, Menendez allegedly received hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. Menendez received included cash, gold and a Mercedes Benz as part of the scheme, federal prosecutors said. 

Following the indictment, Menendez stepped down as Senate Judiciary Committee chairman to focus on the criminal charges and his 2024 re-election campaign. 

In September 2023, the DOJ hit Menendez with one criminal count of conspiracy to commit bribery, one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right. A month later, the DOJ charged Menendez with conspiracy to act as a foreign agent for Egypt.

Menendez’s wife and three New Jersey businessmen also face charges connected to the alleged scheme.

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