Bob Menendez's attempt to toss out the Justice Department's bribery case against him Monday morning.
Breaking: "We are going to the jury".
This is the second time Menendez's request to dismiss the charges has been denied. Bob McDonnell. In that case, the high court said that a public official must take an "official action", like pushing legislation, to be convicted of bribery.
The decision by U.S. District Judge William Walls was a major victory for federal prosecutors, who had warned that dismissing the charges would torpedo almost all other bribery cases and open the door wide to graft. Robert Menendez move forward despite objections from the senior senator's lawyers that the government failed to prove its case when it rested last week. After Walls' ruling, the defense began presenting its side, with family members of both defendants taking the stand.
Dividers a week ago had purportedly provided reason to feel ambiguous about the charges, however on Monday he said the "court presumes that a sound jury could verify that the respondents went into a renumeration understanding".
"The objective of the conspiracy was for the defendants to use Menendez's official position as a United States senator to benefit and enrich themselves through bribery", the indictment said.
Menendez has admitted flying as a guest of Melgen on at least three occasions, but said he paid back the cost of those flights years later, after being questioned about them.
The indictment also claimed Menendez solicited hundreds of thousands of dollars of contributions from Melgen to entities that benefited the senator's election campaign and a separate legal defense fund.
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 defense team hopes to show the jury the genuine friendship between the two men in order to avoid any accusation from the prosecution that they had a corrupt arrangement or conspiracy to commit bribery.
Mere meetings do not count as an official act that can be done in exchange for a bribe, according to the Supreme Court.
Even with bribery remaining as part of the charges, the most serious charge Menendez faces is wire services fraud, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.