Menendez Corruption Trial Delayed for One Week

The corruption trial of Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey was pushed back a week on Friday to May 13, after defense lawyers said they needed more time to review voluminous exhibits and witness statements that prosecutors were only now turning over to them.

The exhibits and statements had been withheld from the defense while the parties fought over how certain testimony would be presented to jurors. That impasse had threatened to delay the trial for two months, but at a brief court hearing in Manhattan, the parties said they had resolved the dispute.

In seeking the extra week to prepare for trial, one defense lawyer, César de Castro, said the postponement would help to “make up for lost time.” Prosecutors agreed to the one-week delay.

Mr. Menendez, 70, his wife Nadine Menendez, 57, and two New Jersey businessmen have been charged in a bribery conspiracy case. Prosecutors say the Menendezes accepted cash, gold and a luxury car in exchange for the senator’s willingness to use his political influence to help allies in New Jersey and the governments of Egypt and Qatar.

The defendants, who all have pleaded not guilty, were scheduled to be tried together on May 6. But the judge, Sidney H. Stein of Federal District Court, separated Ms. Menendez’s case from the others after her lawyers said she had a “serious medical condition” that would require a surgical procedure and potentially extended recovery period. She is scheduled for trial on July 8.

Keeping a May trial date had been seen as critical for the senator. Mr. Menendez, a Democrat, has said he expected to be exonerated, leaving open the possibility he could run for re-election as an independent in November.

“Every day that the specter of the unproven allegations are in the air as to our client is a detriment to him,” Adam Fee, one of the senator’s lawyers, said at a court hearing earlier this month, adding that a delay would make it difficult for Mr. Menendez to run in a general election. “Every day of delay is prejudicial to him,” Mr. Fee had told the judge.

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