Sen. Bob Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, with his wife Nadine Arslanian, leaves US District Court, Southern District of New York, in New York City on Sept. 27, 2023, after their arraignment. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images)

(WASHINGTON) — Sen. Bob Menendez may blame his wife when he stands trial next month on political corruption charges, according to a court document unsealed Tuesday after news organizations, including ABC News, fought to make it public.

The potential line of defense was filed secretly earlier this year, before the judge agreed Menendez and his wife would be tried separately due to Nadine Menendez’s undisclosed medical condition. The senator’s trial is scheduled to begin May 6 in Manhattan federal court.

Defense attorneys said Menendez could take the stand in his own defense and implicate his wife by suggesting she kept information from him and he was unaware of her allegedly illegal activities.

“While these explanations, and the marital communications on which they rely, will tend to exonerate Senator Menendez by demonstrating the absence of any improper intent on Senator Menendez’s part, they may inculpate Nadine by demonstrating the ways in which she withheld information from Senator Menendez or otherwise led him to believe that nothing unlawful was taking place,” the filing said.

Menendez is accused of accepting, cash, gold bars and other perks from New Jersey businessmen in exchange for official favors to benefit the businessmen and the governments of Egypt and Qatar. He has pleaded not guilty.

The senator announced last month that he will not be running for a fourth term as a Democrat in the fall.

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