Judge struggles to seat impartial jurors at Sen. Bob Menendez’s corruption trial: ‘I’m a news junkie’

A Manhattan choose struggled to search out neutral jurors in Sen. Bob Menendez’s corruption trial Tuesday, as he rattled off senators that would both be named and even referred to as to testify — together with Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Cory Booker (D-NJ).

Roughly a dozen potential jurors informed Manhattan federal Choose Sidney Stein that they couldn’t be neutral for varied causes, with some saying they already knew an excessive amount of in regards to the case to have the ability to depart their opinions on the door.

“I’m a information junkie, and I’ve realized in regards to the case already considerably. I knew it was Bob Menendez the second I walked in,” one potential panelist mentioned.

A choose struggled to seat jurors to supervise the corruption trial in opposition to Sen. Bob Menendez. AFP through Getty Photos

“As did many individuals,” Stein fired again.

The choose requested the person if he might nonetheless be honest and take into account solely the proof at trial despite his prior information in regards to the case, which the person mentioned he thought he might.

In whole, Stein excused 27 potential jurors Tuesday after beforehand letting about three dozen go on Monday for logistical causes or for bias.

It’s unclear whether or not he excused the self-proclaimed information junkie.

The trial is slated to final by way of July, which eradicated many potential panelists who mentioned they couldn’t sit on a case that lengthy due to their jobs, trip plans or medical causes.

Stein additionally listed names of present and former US politicians who will both be talked about at trial or referred to as to the witness stand, together with Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, former New Jersey Legal professional Basic Gurbir Grewal and others.

The choose informed potential jurors that New Jersey Senator Cory Booker might be talked about at trial. REUTERS

Jury choice will proceed Wednesday and openings statements might start later within the day.

Menendez, 70, is accused, alongside his spouse Nadine, of accepting bribes including bars of gold, tons of of 1000’s of {dollars} in money, a Mercedes convertible and different luxurious items.

In trade, the senior Democrat senator — who headed the Senate Overseas Relations Committee — used his political energy to profit the international locations of Qatar and Egypt and to dole out favors for 3 New Jersey businessmen, Wael Hana, Jose Uribe and Fred Daibes.

He’s since stepped down from helming the committee.

A slew of different US politicians, together with Sen. Lindsey Graham, might be talked about or referred to as to testify at trial, the choose informed panelists. AP

Menendez is on trial alongside Hana and Daibes, whereas Nadine’s trial was postponed till July for medical causes and Uribe took a responsible plea and is cooperating with the feds.

That is the second bribery trial that Menendez is going through in underneath a decade after he averted conviction in an unrelated case that ended with a hung jury in 2017.

He has denied all of the allegations. His three remaining co-defendants have pleaded not responsible.

With Publish wires

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