Sen. Menendez’s wife excused from court due to cancer surgery

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Nadine Arslanian, the wife of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), was excused from the next court appearance in her bribery case because she recently underwent cancer treatment.

Menendez’s trial has been delayed for weeks due to her recent diagnosis of breast cancer. It was initially scheduled to begin last month, though it has now been moved to July.

In her request to be absent from next week’s pretrial hearing, Menendez’s attorneys said she is experiencing “intense, chronic” pain due to recent surgery for the cancer treatment. Judge Sidney Stein accepted the request Thursday.

Sen. Menendez and his wife have both pleaded not guilty to charges that they accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes, including gold bars and luxury vehicles, from foreign interests in order to leverage his Senate influence.

The husband and wife are being tried separately. The senator’s trial began last month, with prosecutors claiming he “put greed first” by engaging in a “quid pro quo” scheme with business interests in Egypt.

Menendez previously faced corruption charges in 2015, but they were dropped in 2018 after a jury failed to reach a verdict. The trial is expected to last another three to five weeks.

The Senator filed for reelection as an independent this week, as Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.) won the Democratic nomination for his seat.

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