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Who Are Key Players in the Menendez Case?

·2 mins

Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, and his wife are accused of taking part in a wide-ranging, international bribery scheme. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have charged them with accepting bribes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from several New Jersey businessmen in exchange for political favors. Mr. Menendez goes to trial on May 13 with two of the businessmen. Ms. Menendez’s trial was postponed after her lawyers said she had a serious medical condition requiring surgery and a recovery period; it is now expected to start in July. All four have pleaded not guilty. First elected to Congress in 1992, Mr. Menendez is now charged with taking bribes in exchange for trying to aid the governments of Egypt and Qatar, and seeking to disrupt separate criminal investigations involving his allies in New Jersey. After his arrest, he stepped down as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but he has refused calls to resign and left open the possibility that he will run for re-election in November if he is exonerated at trial. This is his second federal bribery trial in seven years. In the earlier case, a jury was unable to reach a verdict and the charges were later dismissed. Mr. Menendez is accused of receiving furniture, gold, and cash as bribes. Prosecutors say these bribes were for his efforts to have unrelated federal bank fraud charges quashed and for his help in lining up financing for a stalled real estate project. Prosecutors say that another individual helped to arrange meetings with the senator and Egyptian officials that led to a lucrative monopoly for the individual’s company. The company was used to funnel bribes to the Menendezes in exchange for the senator’s efforts to steer U.S. weapons and aid to Egypt. Ms. Menendez served as a go-between for Mr. Menendez, Egyptian intelligence officials, and individuals seeking political favors from the senator, according to the indictment. Prosecutors say that bribes and messages went through Ms. Menendez to the senator. Another individual had been charged with seeking the senator’s help to scuttle state insurance fraud investigations that involved the individual’s associates. He pleaded guilty in March and agreed to cooperate with the government, admitting in court that he had given a luxury car to Ms. Menendez to influence the senator. The individuals involved in the case have held prominent positions in the legal system and have been involved in prosecutions of high-profile cases. They have also provided legal representation for various clients involved in legal matters.