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Pending high court decision, Menendez trial set for 2017

By on September 28, 2016

FILE - In this Feb. 18, 2016, file photo, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) speaks during a news conference, in Union City, N.J. A federal appeals court is to hear arguments in the corruption case of Menendez on Monday, Feb. 29. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

FILE – In this Feb. 18, 2016, file photo, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) speaks during a news conference, in Union City, N.J. A federal appeals court is to hear arguments in the corruption case of Menendez on Monday, Feb. 29. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

NEWARK, N.J.- A New Jersey judge has set a September 2017 trial date for U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez on bribery and fraud charges.

Judge William Walls set the Sept. 6, 2017, trial date for the Democrat during a brief pretrial conference on Tuesday.

But whether that trial originally scheduled for October 2015 will happen could be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Menendez’s lawyer has argued that charges should be tossed because of a constitutional clause that protects the actions of sitting lawmakers.

A three-judge panel ruled earlier this month that the dispute is something that needs to be decided at trial, but Abbe Lowell plans an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Menendez has pleaded not guilty to bribery and fraud charges.

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