Crown witness Jose Uribe questioned

On Tuesday, defense attorneys tested the credibility of the important thing witness within the corruption trial against Senator Robert Menendez (DN.J.) in federal court after he testified that he had bribed the controversial congressman and his wife.

The witness, Jose Uribe, was considered one of three New Jersey businessmen originally charged within the case together with Menendez and his wife, Nadine Menendez.

In early March, Uribe modified his mind, pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors within the hope of avoiding prison if he’s convicted of his crimes, which carry a maximum sentence of 95 years in prison.

In his direct testimony On the witness stand in a New York federal court, Uribe said he paid for a Mercedes-Benz convertible for Nadine, Menendez's then-girlfriend, in 2019 in exchange for the senator's influence.

Prosecutors accuse Menendez of attempting to interfere with New Jersey state criminal investigations involving Uribe's associates.

“That was my promise to her so that she would get the car and keep the deal,” Uribe testified on Monday.

During cross-examination on Tuesday, a lawyer for Menendez co-defendant Wael Hana attempted to undermine Uribe's testimony, NBC News reported.

Lawyer Ricardo Solano asked Uribe if it was “fair to say that when you're in trouble, you lie to get away with it?”

Uribe responded: “I have lied in the past,” adding that he had taken what he believed to be “the necessary steps to protect my family.”

Solano went into more detail: “Does it also involve lying?”

Uribe said yes. “I have done this in the past to protect my family,” he said.

On March 1, Uribe pleaded guilty to seven counts, including conspiracy to commit bribery, honest services fraud and obstruction of justice.

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The 70-year-old highest-ranking US senator and his wife are accused of illegally accepting money, gold bars and other gifts value several hundred thousand dollars for official duties.

Menendez, Hana and Fred Daibes, one other New Jersey businessman, are standing together in federal court in Lower Manhattan. Nadine Menendez's trial was postponed until July for medical reasons. During the trial, the senator revealed that his wife has breast cancer.

Menendez's lawyers have tried to pin the blame on Nadine Menendez, claiming she “left the senator out” due to her money problems. His lawyer, Avi Weitzman, noted in his opening statement that gold bars were present in “Nadine's closet.”

Menendez, who has been denounced by a few of his Democratic colleagues, has filed to run for Re-election as an independent Candidate.

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