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Judge rejects co-defendant's request to delay Menendez corruption trial

Judge rejects co-defendant's request to delay Menendez corruption trial

A federal judge in New Jersey on Thursday rejected a Florida doctor's motion to postpone his and Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezSenate presses Biden's pick for secretary of State on Iran, China, Russia and Yemen Year-end deal creates American Latino, women's history museums Lawmakers call for including creation of Latino, women's history museums in year-end spending deal MORE's (D-N.J.) September corruption trial, New Jersey Advance Media reported. 

Attorneys for Dr. Salomon Melgen, an eye doctor who was convicted in a federal court in Florida last month of 67 counts of Medicaid fraud, asked U.S. District Judge William Walls last week to delay his and Menendez's trial until October.

Melgen is scheduled to be sentenced in August for the Medicare fraud charge.

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The sentencing, his attorneys argued, would be "heavily litigated" and could unfairly burden his legal team to divide their attention between the two matters.

Walls wrote in response to Melgen's request that "no good cause has been demonstrated by the movant" to push back the trial date, which had long been set for Sept. 6. 

In the New Jersey federal court case, Melgen and Menendez are facing corruption charges, with prosecutors alleging that Melgen gave the New Jersey Democrat nearly $1 million in campaign donations and free trips in exchange for government-related favors.

Menendez, who has served in the Senate since 2006, has pleaded not guilty in the case. Walls previously denied requests by Menendez's attorneys to delay the trial until October.