Sen. Bob Menendez may blame his wife Nadine during federal corruption trial: court docs

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Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., is expected to blame his wife during his federal corruption trial as part of a defense strategy, newly-unsealed court documents reveal.

In court documents obtained by Fox News Digital, attorneys for Sen. Menendez argued for his case to be severed because of his intention to introduce evidence that would imply his wife, Nadine, is guilty. Severing a case means that the co-defendants would be tried separately in two trials, rather than in one as a couple.

The couple have both pleaded not guilty to bribery and obstruction of justice charges. They are accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in the form of cash, gold bars and a Mercedes-Benz, for the benefit of various business persons and the Egyptian government.

Nadine’s case was already severed by the time the documents, which were filed in January, came to light on Tuesday, but the documents hint at what evidence may come to light at the trial.


In the court filing, attorneys imply that the Democratic senator will introduce evidence showing he was unaware of the allegedly illegal activities. The lawyers say Menendez may testify about communications with his wife that could exonerate him but may implicate Nadine, who allegedly withheld information from her husband.  

“At trial, as part of his defense, Senator Menendez may elect to testify to communications with his wife that serve to materially decrease any inference of culpability on Senator Menendez’s part,” the document states. 

“Senator Menendez will explain, for example, what he and his wife discussed contemporaneously with their dinners with Egyptian officials (which colored his understanding of the purpose of such dinners); the explanations that Nadine provided for why [co-defendants Wael Hanna and Jose Uribe] had provided her certain monetary items; the reasons why he sent his wife a series of questions that other Senators purportedly intended to ask an Egyptian official; and many more topics.”


Evidence photos included in the indictment charging Senator Robert Menendez and Nadine Menendez with bribery.

“They may inculpate Nadine by demonstrating the ways in which she withheld information from Senator Menendez or otherwise led him to believe that nothing unlawful was taking place,” the documents added.

The bribes, which were allegedly given to the couple by New Jersey businessmen Wael Hana and Fred Daibes, in exchange for Menendez’s power and influence. The senator and his wife are also accused of receiving gifts from Jose Uribe, who pleaded guilty to bribery charges in March.

Earlier in April, Nadine Menendez’s attorneys requested to postpone her trial after an “unexpected medical development” arose. She was diagnosed with a “serious medical condition” on Apr. 9, her lawyers said.

Menendez court arrival

The senator’s trial is scheduled to begin on May 6, while his wife’s is planned for July 8.

Fox News Digital’s Pilar Arias and Jamie Joseph contributed to this report.

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