Aside from the fate of Mr. Menendez, the outcome of the trial could also have implications on how the government defines relationships between donors and politicians.
This is a serious case, Judge William H. Walls, who will preside over the trial, repeatedly reminded potential jurors during the selection process. Its not a junky jeopardy matter that you see on TV in these supposed judge cases. This is real stuff.
Opening statements are scheduled for Wednesday, but legal sparring began picking up last week, as Mr. Menendezs team took exception to a pretrial brief from prosecutors, which summarized the indictment and laid out the governments legal arguments.
The first 16 pages of this brief seem designed solely to generate adverse pretrial publicity for the defendants, giving the media a rhetorically florid preview of the prosecutors opening argument, wrote Raymond M. Brown, one of Mr. Menendezs lawyers, in a response.
The retort from the defense was a reminder of what is at stake for Mr. Menendez: Not only must his team win over the jury ...