- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 20, 2017

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - The Latest on the bribery trial of Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez and a wealthy donor (all times local):

1:30 p.m.

Sen. Bob Menendez’s defense team contends the New Jersey Democrat took numerous trips at his own expense to visit a wealthy donor now charged with bribing him.

During cross-examination at Menendez’s bribery trial Wednesday, they showed Menendez traveled to the Dominican Republic often to visit Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen, who is on trial with him.

About 20 of those trips came between 2006 and 2013, the period in which prosecutors say Melgen bribed Menendez with flights on his private jet and luxury hotel stays in exchange for Menendez’s political influence.

Earlier Wednesday, prosecutors produced documents showing Menendez didn’t report gifts from Melgen on his Senate financial disclosure forms.

Both men face fraud and bribery charges and have denied the allegations.


11 a.m.

Prosecutors in the bribery trial of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez are seeking to show jurors the New Jersey Democrat tried to hide free flights and other gifts he received from a wealthy donor.

On Wednesday, they showed jurors a clip of a CNN interview Menendez gave in early 2013 and a news release put out by Menendez’s office.

In both, Menendez said he took only a few flights on the plane of Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen. Prosecutors say he took many more.

Prosecutors also showed Menendez’s financial disclosure form, which doesn’t mention the free flights or a free Paris hotel stay.

Menendez is charged with accepting favors from Melgen in exchange for his political influence. Melgen also is on trial.

The two men maintain there was no bribery arrangement.

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