June 17, 2024

Munger, Tolles & Olson Partner Jonathan Kravis Discusses the Bribery Trial of Senator Menendez in CBS News Article

Munger, Tolles & Olson partner Jonathan Kravis spoke to CBS News about the defense strategy used by U.S. Senator Robert Menendez in his ongoing bribery trial in an article titled, “New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez’s strategy of blaming his wife in bribery trial may have pitfalls.”

In the article, Mr. Kravis said Senator Menendez’s apparent defense strategy of blaming his wife for an alleged bribery scheme could backfire, especially with six women jurors. “A lot of it depends on execution and how you present it, and whether you’re able to pull it off in a way that does not seem sexist or condescending or like you’re just trying to pin it on her,” Mr. Kravis said.

Senator Menendez faces bribery charges for allegedly accepting gold bars, money and a luxury car in exchange for his influence to help some businessmen and the governments of Egypt and Qatar. His wife, Nadine Menendez, is also charged for her alleged involvement in the bribery scheme, and her trial is expected to begin in August 2024. Both Senator Menendez and his wife deny the charges.

Senator Menendez’s lawyers may consider having him testify in the next few weeks, which could expose him to questions that challenge his description of his relationship with his wife and how involved they are in each other’s lives, Mr. Kravis said.

“The prosecution has started trying to introduce evidence of communications between Menendez and his wife that don’t relate directly to the conduct at issue but are just trying to establish that they’re deeply involved in each other’s lives,” he said.

Mr. Kravis has a wealth of experience as a former federal prosecutor and trial lawyer, having served as deputy chief of the Fraud and Public Corruption Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and as a trial lawyer in the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section. He has shared his valuable insights with media outlets based on his years of service, and was recently interviewed by several other publications about Senator Menendez’s bribery trial.

Read the full CBS News article.