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Menendez Jury Starts Deliberating Senator's Bribery Case

  • New Jersey Democrat accused of taking Florida doctor’s gifts
  • Verdict in Newark could affect composition of U.S. Senate
Menendez, center, exits federal court in Newark, New Jersey, on Nov. 2, 2017. 

Menendez, center, exits federal court in Newark, New Jersey, on Nov. 2, 2017. 

Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg
Updated on

A federal jury began deliberating whether Senator Robert Menendez took bribes from a Florida eye doctor in a case that could have implications for the composition of the Senate and the ability of the Justice Department to prosecute corruption cases.

The panel spent about 75 minutes on the case Tuesday and will return on Tuesday. They must determine whether the New Jersey Democrat illegally took gifts from the doctor, Salomon Melgen, in exchange for intervening in government matters on his behalf. Defense lawyers argued the two men had exchanged favors during a 20-year friendship that was in no way corrupt.