The Latest: 1st day of Menendez jury selection completed
Aug. 22, 2017
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The Latest on jury selection in the upcoming corruption trial of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (all times local):
The first day of jury selection in the corruption trial of Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez has concluded.
Several jurors were seated by the end of the day.
The selection process will resume Wednesday to pick the 12 jurors and four alternates who will sit on the trial. Opening statements are scheduled for Sept. 6.
Menendez faces bribery and fraud charges for allegedly taking campaign donations and gifts including luxury vacations from a wealthy friend in exchange for using his political influence.
The friend is Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen, who is on trial with Menendez.
Both have denied there was any bribery agreement.
A closed court proceeding has interrupted jury selection for the corruption trial of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez.
Menendez and his lawyers spent nearly two hours in federal court in Newark on Tuesday morning. Attorneys and court personnel later said the New Jersey Democrat pleaded not guilty to an updated indictment that was handed up last fall.
Such proceedings are public except in rare cases, such as when the identity of a government informant must be kept secret.
The judge didn't immediately explain why the proceeding was closed.
After the proceeding, jurors began entering court to begin questioning by attorneys.
Menendez is charged with accepting gifts from a Florida eye doctor in exchange for lobbying for the man's business interests. The trial is due to start Sept. 6.
The final stage of jury selection for next month's corruption trial of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey gets underway in Newark.
Attorneys will question potential jurors Tuesday. A panel of 12 jurors and four alternates could be seated by the end of the week.
The Democrat was charged in 2015 with accepting gifts and campaign donations from a Florida eye doctor in exchange for using his position in Congress to lobby for the man's business interests.
The doctor, Salomon Melgen, is a co-defendant in the case.
Menendez and Melgen have argued in court papers that the gifts and donations were innocent and that there was no bribery agreement. Menendez also claims his actions were legitimate legislative duties.