Bob Menendez Poised To Blame Wife in Bribery Case

April 17, 2024

A court filing released Tuesday suggests Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.), who has been indicted four times for his alleged role in a bribery scheme, is poised to blame his wife for involving him in the scandal.  

The New Jersey Democrat’s attorneys intend to demonstrate the "absence of any improper intent on Senator Menendez’s part" by showing that his wife, Nadine Menendez, "withheld information from Sen. Menendez or otherwise led him to believe that nothing unlawful was taking place," according to a legal filing released Tuesday by order of Manhattan federal judge Sidney Stein. 

Menendez’s legal team had fought to keep the court filing under seal, arguing that making the defense strategy public "threatens to bias the jury pool and, consequently, to interfere with Senator Menendez’s and his wife’s right to a fair trial."

Menendez and his wife have been accused of handing out political favors to the Egyptian government and three businessmen while pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. The embattled senator was first indicted in September on bribery charges, with three superseding indictments in October, January, and early March. 

Menendez has denied any wrongdoing and rejected bipartisan calls for him to resign from the Senate but did step down in September as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  

The senator’s trial is scheduled to begin on May 6 in Manhattan. His wife’s trial has been pushed to later this summer after she asked for a delay due to a "serious medical condition."