Lawyers for Democrat Senator Bob Menendez wanted the judge on the case to acquit but he said no. Now the defense has to make an actual case for his innocence.
Menendez judge denies motion to acquit, trial turns to defense’s case
A federal judge in Newark denied Sen. Bob Menendez’s attempt to toss out the Justice Department’s bribery case against him Monday morning.
The trial, now in its seventh week, will turn to the defense case as lawyers for the New Jersey Democrat and Dr. Salomon Melgen, a wealthy ophthalmologist from Florida, try to convince jurors that prosecutors have wrongly twisted a longtime friendship into an illegal bribery scheme.
The heart of the Justice Department’s case rests on accusations that Menendez accepted political contributions, free rides on private jets and a swanky hotel suite in Paris from Melgen in exchange for agreeing to pressure other high-level federal officials in the executive branch to help resolve his wealthy friend’s business problems — “official acts” prosecutors claim put Menendez on the hook under federal bribery law…
“We are living in a real world of reality and common sense,” Walls said. “The jury will decide whose version of what happened or didn’t happen is more likely than not.”
Democrats still haven’t even said whether they believe Menendez should step down if found guilty. They might have to make a decision soon.