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Mr. Mitchell said he never received the memo and only first learned of it this month.

Raquel Guillory, a spokesman for Gov. Martin O’Malley, who was Baltimore’s mayor at the time the memo was dated, said attracting grocery stores to the city was a priority and city economic development officials met with supermarket chains. However, she could not confirm Tuesday whether Mr. O’Malley ever met with Mr. Currie or Shoppers officials on the subjects cited in the case.

Mr. Currie also failed to note in state financial disclosure forms that he was receiving income from the grocery store chain, and Ms. Gavin said that was an intentional omission to conceal the scheme from 2002 until 2008.

But Mr. Outlaw said Mr. Currie, who has been a senator since 1995 and was a delegate from 1987 until he won his Senate seat, often had inaccurate disclosure forms throughout his career.

“Ladies and gentlemen, frankly, they’re a mess,” Mr. Outlaw said.

Nicholas Vitek, White’s lawyer, said the consulting work by Mr. Currie was known by others.

“This was all out in the open,” Mr. Vitek said.

Jonathan Zucker, an attorney for Mr. Small, said Mr. Currie was hired only for his understanding of Maryland government. Mr. Zucker also noted that Currie was paid in monthly checks and reported the income on his taxes.

“This is not the way bribery is done,” he said.

The trial before U.S. District Judge Richard Bennett is expected to last as long as six weeks.