Davis Polk partner Tatiana Martins discussed Senator Bob Menendez’s bribery trial and possible defense tactics with the New York Times. The senator and his wife are charged with allegedly accepting bribes, meddling in criminal investigations and taking actions benefitting the governments of Egypt and Qatar. The article notes that the senator’s lawyers have said in legal papers that the senator may defend himself in part by claiming that his wife withheld information about her dealings and led him to believe that nothing unlawful was taking place.

Tatiana noted that such a tactic would present challenges, given the couple’s public persona as loyal partners who traveled and attended events together. She added that the senator’s lawyers might argue that his wife “did this all on her own; he had no idea; she kept it from him,” but prosecutors could seek to rebut that by introducing evidence of how close the two were.

“They have this great relationship, yet she’s keeping all this from him?” Tatiana said.

Menendez’s Bribery Trial Puts Scrutiny on His Motives and His Marriage,” New York Times (May 12, 2024) (subscription required)