Menendez prosecutors seek hearing on evidence
Jul. 03, 2015
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Prosecutors in the corruption case against Sen. Bob Menendez asked a judge to hold a hearing to determine whether some evidence should be withheld or restricted due to possible national security concerns.
Menendez was charged in April with crimes including conspiracy and bribery for allegedly accepting gifts from a Florida ophthalmologist in return for political favors.
One of the allegations in the indictment is that Menendez sought to pressure the State Department to intervene in a contract dispute involving a business Salomon Melgen owned in the Dominican Republic that installed and operated X-ray equipment to inspect shipping containers.
Both men have pleaded not guilty.
The Justice Department filed the request for the hearing with U.S. District Judge William Walls in Newark on Thursday.
Prosecutors wrote that there is a "limited universe of classified information potentially at issue," but they want a hearing to "confirm that it is neither relevant nor helpful to the defense."
The judge could restrict access to some evidence by Menendez's attorneys or deny it altogether.
A trial is tentatively scheduled for October in Newark. Menendez's attorneys are due to file pretrial motions later this month requesting that the charges be dismissed, which could delay the start of a trial.
A Menendez spokesman didn't comment on the filing Friday.