NEW YORK (NEWSnet/AP) — Sen Bob Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, arrived Monday at a federal courthouse for the start of his trial on charges that he accepted bribes of gold and cash to use his influence to deliver favors.

Menendez, 70, arrived with his lawyers about 8:15 a.m. in front of a Manhattan federal courthouse. He did not speak to reporters who were kept behind barricades as he entered a security pavilion where everyone entering the courthouse is scanned.

Menendez is on trial with two of the businessmen who allegedly paid him bribes — real estate developer Fred Daibes and Wael Hana. All three have pleaded not guilty.

A third businessman has pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against the other defendants.

The senator’s wife is also charged, but her trial is delayed until at least July.

Opening statements were possible, but unlikely, before Tuesday.

Menendez has already seen consequences as a result of this investigation – after charges were announced in September, he was forced out of his powerful post as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The three-term senator has announced he will not be seeking reelection on the Democratic ticket this fall, although he has not ruled out running as an independent.

It will be the second corruption trial for Menendez in the last decade. The previous prosecution on unrelated charges ended with a deadlocked jury in 2017.

In this case, prosecutors say the senator’s efforts on behalf of the businessmen led him to take actions benefitting the governments of Egypt and Qatar. Menendez has vigorously denied doing anything unusual in his dealings with foreign officials.

Besides charges including bribery, extortion, fraud and obstruction of justice, Menendez also is charged with acting as a foreign agent of Egypt.

Among evidence his lawyers will have to explain are gold bars worth over $100,000 and more than $486,000 in cash found in a raid two years ago on his New Jersey home, including money stuffed in the pockets of clothing in closets.

The Democrat’s wife, Nadine Menendez, was also charged in the case, but her trial has been postponed for health reasons.

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