NEWARK, N.J. — The Latest on the bribery trial of Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez and a wealthy donor (all times local):
A government official has testified a representative of a wealthy donor to U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez once threatened him over a contract dispute and spoke of his political connections.
U.S. Commerce Department official Scott Smith told jurors Monday an attorney for Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen met with him and another Commerce official in 2012 to ask them to intercede in a dispute between a Melgen company and the Dominican Republic over port screening equipment.
Smith said the attorney acted in a threatening manner and boasted of his political connections. Smith said he understood that to mean Menendez.
Prosecutors allege Melgen bribed the Democratic senator from New Jersey with luxury travel and gifts in exchange for Menendez’s help on issues such as the port dispute.
Defense attorneys say there was no bribery.
Testimony in the bribery trial of Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez has resumed in New Jersey.
Jurors are hearing Monday from an FBI agent testifying about trips Menendez took to the Dominican Republic to visit a wealthy friend and campaign donor.
Menendez is charged with accepting free travel and other gifts as well as campaign donations from Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen in exchange for political influence.
Defense attorneys contend the two were longtime friends and that Menendez made numerous trips at his own expense.
The trial is in its fourth week.