NEWARK, N.J. — The Latest on the bribery trial of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez and a wealthy friend (all times local):
Jurors in the bribery trial of Sen. Bob Menendez and a wealthy friend have been instructed on the law by a judge, and are set to hear closing arguments from attorneys Thursday.
The instructions contained modified definitions of official bribery stemming from a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned the conviction Virginia’s former governor.
The Democratic senator and Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen (MEHL’-genn) are charged with conspiracy, bribery and fraud in an 18-count indictment. The indictment alleges Melgen bribed Menendez with gifts in exchange for official influence.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge William Walls told jurors they could find Menendez guilty even if they didn’t believe specific gifts were tied to specific actions. He added those actions had to be on specific matters and not on broad policy issues.
Jurors in the bribery trial of Sen. Bob Menendez and a wealthy friend are to receive legal instructions from the judge in advance of closing arguments Thursday.
Menendez and the friend, Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen (MEHL’-genn), are charged in an 18-count indictment with conspiracy, bribery, fraud and related offenses.
The trial is in its ninth week.
Prosecutors have sought to show that Menendez flew on Melgen’s private jet and accepted other gifts including luxury vacations between 2006 and 2013 in exchange for lobbying for Melgen’s business interests with government officials.
The men have known each other for more than 25 years and contend there was no bribery arrangement. Their attorneys have presented evidence seeking to show that Menendez was engaging in routine policy discussion when he met with executive branch officials.