Bob Menendez’s legal team criticizes prosecutors in dispute over Shrink’s testimony

Lawyers for Sen. Bob Menendez have accused prosecutors of disclosing his personal mental health information in court documents related to his bribery trial. The defense team claims that this revelation may have tainted the jury pool and violated the judge’s instructions regarding the redaction of evidence. The government has argued against allowing a psychiatrist to testify about Menendez’s past traumas and hoarding habits, which the defense attributes to his family’s history as a refugee and his father’s suicide over gambling debts.

Menendez and his wife are accused of taking nearly $500,000 in cash and 13 gold bars as bribes in exchange for political favors. The senator defended his habit of keeping cash close at hand by citing his family’s experiences with confiscation in Cuba. His lawyers claim his behavior stems from fear of scarcity resulting from the traumatic events of his family’s flight from Cuba and his father’s suicide. The defense believes an expert witness can provide insight into Menendez’s mental health diagnosis and coping mechanisms.

The defense team claims that the government’s disclosure of sensitive information about Menendez’s family history and mental health pressured them to call the expert witness to testify at trial. The attorneys are asking prosecutors to submit an affidavit explaining why this information was made public and whether sanctions should be imposed. Menendez has not yet made a final decision on whether to call the expert witness, but the defense believes the jury will expect to hear testimony about his mental health diagnosis.

Menendez, his wife and two others are charged with bribery in which the senator allegedly used his position to grant favors to businessmen and foreign countries in exchange for money, gold and other gifts. One of the businessmen involved has already pleaded guilty and is cooperating with prosecutors. Menendez’s trial is scheduled to begin on May 13, while his wife’s trial has been postponed until July for health reasons. A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan declined to comment on the case.

Menendez’s defense team is challenging the prosecution’s attempt to block a psychiatrist from testifying about the senator’s past traumas and hoarding behavior. They argue that the expert witness can provide valuable insights into Menendez’s mental health diagnosis and coping strategies. The defense believes that the government’s disclosure of sensitive information influenced the jury and pressured them to call the expert witness to testify at trial.

Menendez’s legal team is calling on prosecutors to explain the disclosure of his private mental health information and whether there was intentional misconduct. They are seeking possible sanctions against the government for violating the judge’s instructions on redacting evidence. The bribery trial involving Menendez, his wife and two businessmen will continue in the coming months, with one of the businessmen already pleading guilty and cooperating with authorities. The Senator’s defense team remains vigilant in their efforts to protect his rights and ensure a fair trial.