The Latest: Judge denies Menendez motion for mistrial
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The Latest on the bribery trial of Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez and a wealthy friend (all times local):
A judge has denied a mistrial motion by New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez and a wealthy friend.
Attorneys filed the motion over the weekend accusing U.S. District Judge William Walls of unfairly limiting what evidence or witnesses they could present.
Walls said Monday the motion had no “palpable merit.”
The bribery trial is entering its ninth week. Menendez is charged with accepting free flights on a private jet and other gifts from Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen (MEHL’-genn) in exchange for political influence.
The two men deny any bribery arrangement.
Defense attorneys argued Walls hasn’t let them introduce documents that would support their theory that Menendez wasn’t lobbying government officials on behalf of Melgen but instead was concerned with broader policy issues.
Prosecutors countered that the judge’s rulings have been consistent and called the defendants’ attempt an example of their “continued unwillingness” to accept blame for their actions.
Defense attorneys for Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez and a wealthy friend have accused the judge in their bribery trial of not letting them present evidence and witnesses to prove their case.
They filed a mistrial motion on Sunday. It alleges that U.S. District Judge William Walls abused his discretion by not letting jurors see certain evidence the attorneys say would contradict the prosecution’s contentions.
Walls could rule Monday.
Menendez is charged with accepting free flights on a private jet and other gifts from Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen in exchange for political influence.
The two men, who are longtime friends, deny any bribery arrangement. The most serious charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.
The trial enters its ninth week on Monday.