The New York federal judge scheduled to preside over the bribery trial of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez rejected on Thursday a defense request to delay the start of jury selection from May to July.
Judge Sidney H. Stein’s order leaves in place a May 5 trial date in Manhattan for the New Jersey Democrat, who faces trial along with his wife and three New Jersey businessmen.
All have pleaded not guilty to charges alleging they engaged in a bribery conspiracy that enriched the senator and his wife with cash, gold bars and a luxury car. Menendez, his wife and one of the businessmen also have pleaded not guilty to a charge that they conspired to illegally use the senator as an agent of the Egyptian government.
Lawyers for Menendez claimed earlier this month that they need extra time to prepare for trial, in part because they’ve been given over 6.7 million documents that they must sift through and because the complexity of the case requires resolving questions of law that may take extra time to decide.