Jury picked, opening statements begin in US v. Menendez: ‘Use your good judgment’

A dozen jurors and six alternatives were chosen Wednesday and began hearing opening statements in the high-profile federal corruption trial of New Jersey Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez. Opening statements are expected to take up to three hours total, and prosecutor Lara Pomerantz was allotted 45 minutes. 

U.S. Judge Sidney H. Stein told the jurors, “use your common sense, use your life experience, use your good judgment.” 

Jurors will determine whether evidence against Menendez and two New Jersey businessmen, Fred Daibes and Wael Hana, shows a bribery scheme that allegedly involved meddling in criminal investigations and taking actions to benefit the governments of Egypt and Qatar. 

US V. MENENDEZ: DEM SENATOR’S CORRUPTION TRIAL KICKS OFF WITH SURPRISING DELAY

Senator Bob Menendez and his wife Nadine Menendez depart a Manhattan court after they were arraigned on federal bribery charges in New York, United States on September 27, 2023. (Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Menendez “put his power up for sale,” while aiding the Egyptian government and trying to brush criminal cases under the rug in exchange for gold bars, jewelry, cash and a Mercedes-Benz convertible, according to the prosecutor’s opening statements.

“He was powerful,” Pomerantz said in opening statements. “He was also corrupt.”

The prosecutor said

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