FILE PHOTO: Bob Menendez, United States Senator speaks during the First Stand Rally in Newark, N.J., U.S. January 15, 2017. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith/File Photo

(Reuters) – A federal judge has rejected Senator Robert Menendez’s request to allow breaks in his corruption trial beginning next Wednesday so the New Jersey Democrat could travel to Washington to cast critical Senate votes.
In a decision made public on Friday, U.S. District Judge William Walls in Newark, New Jersey, rejected Menendez’s claim that he deserved special treatment because he had a “constitutional duty” to be in Washington for his constituents.
Walls said he suspected the request was part of a strategy to “impress the jurors” with Menendez’s importance, but that it was speculative to suggest the senator would miss key votes.
“The court will not serve as concierge to any party or lawyer,” Walls wrote. “The motion – from a practical perspective – is nigh frivolous.”
Abbe Lowell, a lawyer for Menendez, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The senator’s press secretary had no immediate …
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