(Bloomberg) -- US Senator Robert Menendez will go to trial on corruption charges May 6, a month before the state’s Democratic primary.
The New Jersey Democrat and his wife face charges they protected three businessmen who showered them with gifts of gold bars, hundreds of thousands in cash, mortgage payments and a Mercedes convertible.
Charges against Menendez, 69, were unsealed Sept. 22 in the culmination of a sweeping corruption probe of the senator, who was chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee before being forced to step aside because of the charges. US District Judge Sidney Stein on Monday set an ambitious schedule for a case that will include a large volume of evidence, including potentially classified information.
“Let’s get this case moving,” US District Judge Sidney Stein urged lawyers for the prosecution and defense in a court conference in Manhattan.
The swift trial date raises an outside possibility that there could be a verdict before New Jersey voters go to the polls for the Democratic primary on June 4. Prosecutors said the trial could last six weeks. Menendez has rejected calls to step down amid the inquiry.
Menendez and his wife, Nadine Menendez, are charged along with Wael Hana, founder of a halal meat importer; Fred Daibes, the former chairman of Mariner’s Bank in New Jersey; and New Jersey businessman Jose Uribe. All have pleaded not guilty.
Read more: Menendez, His Wife and the Alleged Plot to Help Their Friends
Stein told prosecutors to turn over evidence gathered by investigators to the defense by early December. A lawyer for the government said prosecutors have material gathered from hundreds of subpoenas in addition to 50 electronic devices and accounts. The investigation is ongoing.
The case is US v Menendez, 23-cr-490, US District Court, Southern District of New York.
(Adds estimated length of trial in fifth paragraph)
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.
BNN Bloomberg Picks
Declining prices shift Canadian views of homes as investments
How will the Canada 'mortgage charter' impact homeowners, bank earnings?
Here are the key takeaways from Canada's budget update
'A long time coming': Ottawa looks at requiring corporate climate disclosures
Rona Ambrose: Fiscal update 'very concerning' for Canadians
Business leaders 'disappointed' with fiscal update details