Sen. Bob Menendez's corruption trial resumes after Fred Daibes tested positive for COVID

The corruption trial of Sen. Bob Menendez is scheduled to resume Tuesday after a three-day break caused when co-defendant Fred Daibes tested positive for COVID-19.

During a remote hearing Monday, lawyers in the case said they believe the case will continue until at least the week of July 8, a bit later than Judge Sidney H. Stein had warned jurors when the trial began. Prosecutors said they expect to rest their case by June 25 and defense attorneys said they will present a case that will take about two weeks.

United States Senator, Bob Menendez walks towards the Daniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Courthouse where he will be on trial for bribery and corruption charges. The jury selection for the trial is expected to start today, Monday, May 13, 2024.
United States Senator, Bob Menendez walks towards the Daniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Courthouse where he will be on trial for bribery and corruption charges. The jury selection for the trial is expected to start today, Monday, May 13, 2024.

Tuesday is expected to see more testimony from U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger, who told jurors last week that Menendez had asked him to “look at” criminal charges the U.S. Attorney’s Office had filed against Daibes under Sellinger’s predecessor. When Sellinger’s bosses forced him to recuse himself from the Daibes matter, Sellinger said, Menendez ended their friendship.

Prosecutors are also expected to call to the stand Michael Soliman, a former adviser to Menendez.

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There was some debate Monday over a defense witness, attorney Michael Critchley, who has asked to be deposed remotely instead of coming to the courtroom to limit potential exposure to COVID-19.

“The deep concern, your honor, is COVID, and specifically knowing that one of the defendants has taken ill with it, that others were certainly exposed to it, and a deep concern over perhaps another lawyer or more having tested positive. Mr. Critchley is leaving for Europe on Wednesday,” his lawyer, Kevin Marino, told Stein.

Prosecutors objected, but Stein allowed defense attorneys to schedule a video deposition of Critchley.

Critchley was in Trenton on Monday representing George Norcross III, an insurance executive and Democratic power broker indicted by the state Attorney General’s Office and charged with racketeering. Norcross has denied the charges.

Editor's note: This story was originally published by the New Jersey Monitor. The New Jersey Monitor is part of States Newsroom, the nation’s largest state-focused nonprofit news organization.

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Sen. Bob Menendez's corruption trial resumes Tuesday

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