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Judge refuses to dismiss corruption charges against Menendez

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Judge William Walls on Monday said he won’t dismiss any of the 18 charges against Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), The Associated Press reported.

Prosecutors in the federal corruption case against Menendez and his co-defendant, Salomon Melgen, rested their case last week, capping off 18 days of testimony from 35 witnesses. 

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Menendez pleaded not guilty to charges that he accepted campaign donations, lavish gifts and vacations from Melgen, a Florida-based eye doctor, in return for the senator using his influence to benefit Melgen both personally and financially. Prosecutors claimed during the trial that the senator had “sold his office for a lifestyle he couldn’t afford.”

Walls last week had reportedly cast doubt on the charges, but on Monday he said the “court concludes that a rational jury could determine that the defendants entered into a quid pro quo agreement.”

“The jury will decide whose version of what happened and what didn’t happen is more likely than not,” Walls said, according to Politico.

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