Fetterman mocks Menendez ‘blaming your wife’ strategy

Sen. John Fetterman (D-Penn.) mocked Sen. Bob Menendez on Sunday for what he described as the New Jersey Democrat’s “blaming your wife” legal strategy in his bribery trial that kicked off in Manhattan last week.

Fetterman responded to the opening statements in the trial on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, noting that he was the first senator to demand Menendez’s resignation after he was indicted last year.

He also took aim at Menendez’s legal team for trying to pin the blame on the senator’s. wife, Nadine Menendez, who the senator said last week is battling breast cancer.

“And I really can’t imagine who — either it was his idea or he was convinced that blaming your wife, who is suffering from cancer, is really an effective strategy or how that’s going to go over,” Fetterman told co-host Jake Tapper.

Menendez, his wife and three New Jersey businessmen are facing charges in connection to an alleged bribery scheme where lavish gifts were exchanged for political influence. Menendez and his wife will have separate trials due to her medical condition.

Opening statements in the trial began last week, where defense lawyers for the New Jersey Democrat aimed to distance the senator’s actions from his wife’s.

Defense attorney Avi Weitzman at one point showed jurors a slide mimicking a “Where’s Waldo” puzzle, but it was instead replaced with “Where’s Bob?”. He was imploring the jurors last week to remember that slide whenever prosecutors showed evidence involving Nadine Menendez, noting that the couple lived “separate lives.”

Fetterman has been very vocal in his criticisms of his fellow Democrat, raising some eyebrows since most of his other colleagues have muted critiques of the New Jersey Democrat and his legal problems.

Fetterman, for his part, reiterated Sunday that Menendez should not received classified briefings about Egypt and Qatar.

“He’s entitled to his day in court, the way he’s having right now, but he’s not entitled to be a United States senator,” he said. “He’s certainly not entitled to receive a kind of classified briefing so about Egypt and Qatar, since he was essentially accused of being an agent for them as well.”

“I don’t understand why anybody would be OK with that,” he added.

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