Judge Rejects Senator’s Request For Delaying Corruption Trial

(ConservativeSense.com) – After the legal team of Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez tried to delay the kick-off of his corruption trial, a federal judge rejected the request to give the senator two months.

Citing the charge against their client of being a foreign agent as “a sitting senator” as “unprecedented” and the time needed to sift through a substantial amount of documents from court discovery, Menendez’s attorneys sought a delay for at least two months. Federal prosecutors argue that the request for a delay is “unwarranted” and note how Menendez and his team didn’t oppose the start date when it was officially announced in October. The prosecutors said that nothing had changed since the date was scheduled.

In an order issued on Thursday, December 28, US District Court Judge Sidney Stein rejected the request by Menendez and his legal team, which she said was unnecessary. Stein said the volume of documents in discovery “is consistent with the parties’ stated expectations” when the trial date was set for Oct. 2 and doesn’t “justify a two-month adjournment.”

The judge added that “in fact,” the volume of the material revealed in discovery “is less than” what the defendants were initially concerned about when they requested the delay on Dec. 20. Stein said that Mendendez’s legal team was misled “into believing it had received 735 terabytes” of documents when the volume was actually three terabytes. In their filing, Menendez’s attorneys claimed to have received “over 15 million pages” of documentation from the government.

Stein conceded that while the volume of documents the attorneys received represented “a substantial amount of data,” it’s still only “a tiny fraction” of what they “believed they had on their plates” and “consistent” with the expressed expectations “at the initial pretrial conference” specifying the material released during discovery “would be voluminous.”

The New Jersey senator currently faces charges for allegedly using his position in office to benefit the Egyptian government, as well as three New Jersey businessmen, in exchange for bribes. The alleged bribes consisted of cash payments, gold bars, and luxury items. His trial is set to begin on May 6, which his team unsuccessfully tried to push to July.

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