Jury seated in federal bribery trial against Sen. Bob Menendez as opening statements begin

The jury consists of 12 jurors and 6 alternates.

Chris Keating

May 15, 2024, 9:33 PM

Updated 11 days ago

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A jury was chosen Wednesday for the federal bribery trial of U.S. Sen Bob Menendez, which means opening arguments have begun.
The jury consists of 12 jurors and 6 alternates. They will have to decide if the three-term New Jersey senator is guilty of bribery charges. The jurors were selected from a pool of 150.
All had filed into Manhattan federal court over the last three days. The pool of jurors included a standup comedian, musicians and a pastor.
Judge Sidney Stein told the group that he wants a fair and impartial jury. One with, “people who come without any bias,” and those who can put aside, “anything about this case,” they’ve heard in the media.
Stein also rejected the attempt by Menendez’s attorneys to bring in a psychiatrist. They wanted to use that psychiatrist to explain why the senator had $480,000 in cash plus gold bars hidden away in his New Jersey home.
Menendez has said he kept cash because of his family's cultural experience as Cuban refugees. He said he also did it because of his father’s suicide.
Federal prosecutors say that money was hidden away because it was bribes - payments made to help three businessmen with favors as well as the country of Egypt.
A News 12 New Jersey crew was in New Brunswick on Wednesday asking people along George Street what they thought about the trial - fully aware this is the second time Menendez is facing corruption charges.
“Gold bars are a fairly convincing statement and the fingerprints on the $100 bills,” said one resident.
He’s referring to the cash recovered from the senator’s home which allegedly had DNA of two other defendants.
“It’s not a good thing but hopefully justice prevails in whatever the decision is,” said another resident.
Jurors have been told to prepare for the trial to last six to seven weeks.


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