Sen. Menendez's request for trial delay rejected by judge

 December 30, 2023

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) isn't having the best year, and it looks like it just became significantly worse. 

According to NBC News, the New Jersey Democrat, who's currently under fire and facing multiple serious bribery-related federal charges, was denied a request to move his trial date back.

The senator's lawyers asked Judge Sidney H. Stein to delay the trial from it's original start date in May to July.

Menendez faces trial with his wife and a business partner involved in the alleged bribery scheme. Menendez has resisted calls to step down from Congress.

Why ask for a delay?

While common in such cases, the senator's lawyers asked the judge for the delayed trial date to give them more time to prepare.

NBC News noted:

Lawyers for Menendez claimed earlier this month that they need extra time to prepare for trial, in part because they’ve been given over 6.7 million documents that they must sift through and because the complexity of the case requires resolving questions of law that may take extra time to decide.

Prosecutors countered the argument, reminding the judge that they gave the defense ample warning and time regarding the amount of evidence that would need to be reviewed.

Judge Stein agreed with the prosecutors in the case, noting that plenty of time and warning was provided to the defense at the outset.

NBC News noted:

In his order, Stein agreed with prosecutors, saying that the evidence turned over by prosecutors to defense lawyers was consistent with the amount of material the government had projected would be involved in the trial.

Social media reacts

Menendez has faced backlash from both sides of the political aisle, including from fellow Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA). Many believe she should have already resigned from Congress. Social media users agreed.

"Better pay your attorneys overtime in scouring through those mounds of evidence of your corruption. Maybe Menendez can retain them in gold bars?" one X user wrote.

Another X user added, "Republican Santos is gone for falsifying his resume to get elected. Dem Menedez is still around after taking huge sums of $$$ in bribes. Do we see once again a double standard here?"

Only time will tell if Menendez drops out before his trial, or if he'll wait for a verdict.

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