US Senator Bob Menendez’s Defense Strategy: Shifting Blame to Wife

In the opening statements of US Senator Bob Menendez’s corruption trial, his defense team attempted to shift the blame for alleged bribe-taking onto his wife. Avi Weitzman, the senator’s attorney, told the jury that Nadine Menendez “kept him in the dark” regarding financial matters.

However, prosecutor Lara Pomerantz argued that Senator Menendez, 70, used his wife as an intermediary to trade political influence for money, gifts, and gold bars. She asserted that the long-serving New Jersey Democrat “put his power up for sale.”

Senator Bob Menendez faces accusations of accepting bribes, including gold bars and a Mercedes-Benz convertible, in return for aiding foreign governments. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The trial, taking place in a Manhattan federal court, is expected to extend into July, with Mr. Menendez required to attend daily.

Mr. Menendez previously served as the top-ranking Democrat on the influential Senate Foreign Relations Committee for over five years, wielding significant influence over US foreign policy. He was removed as chairman following the charges.

He married Nadine Menendez, who was born in Lebanon and moved to the US as a child, in 2020. She is facing separate charges of bribery and corruption, to which she has pleaded not guilty.

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