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Jury Selection in Menendez Trial Stretches Into a Third Day

Jury selection in the corruption trial of Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey was slated to stretch into a third day on Wednesday, as a judge prepared to seat a dozen citizens who will soon weigh one of the most serious set of charges ever brought against a sitting senator.

The judge, Sidney H. Stein, spent much of Tuesday questioning dozens of potential jurors from New York City and Westchester County, quizzing them on their professions, experiences with the criminal justice system and preferred news sources. After hours in the Manhattan federal courtroom, he indicated a final panel was imminent.

“We will be picking a jury by the end of the morning,” Judge Stein said late Tuesday, adding that he expected to begin opening statements quickly thereafter.

Prosecutors will go first, offering jurors and the public a preliminary outline of a sprawling corruption and bribery case that involves $100,000 in gold bars, an Egyptian halal meat monopoly and a Qatari sheikh.

The government has accused Mr. Menendez, a Democrat, and his wife, Nadine Menendez, of conspiring to trade his “influence and power” as Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman to foreign powers and New Jersey businessmen in exchange for a Mercedes-Benz convertible, mortgage payments, gold and cash. When the F.B.I. began investigating, prosecutors say, the couple tried to cover it all up.

Mr. Menendez, 70, has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, some of which carry up to 20 years in prison. He is being tried alongside two of the businessmen, Fred Daibes and Wael Hana.

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