Menendez Prosecutors Eye $600,000 In Political Donations Co-Defendant Made

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, center, takes questions after news conference talking about flood insurance, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Union Beach, N.J. Menendez and Rep. Frank Pallone, far right, want changes made to federal flood insurance they said will fix a system that often failed beleaguered homeowners, including in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. The two Democrats described legislation they have proposed that will reauthorize a 2012 flood insurance bill scheduled to expire next month and add key provisions. After the press conference, Menenedez fielded questions about his upcoming trial in which he is facing federal corruption charges. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/AP
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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Prosecutors at the bribery trial of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez have presented evidence that a wealthy donor on trial with him contributed $600,000 to organizations that supported the New Jersey Democrat.

They are trying to tie the donations by Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen in 2012 to actions Menendez took around the same time. Prosecutors contend those actions included lobbying for Melgen’s business interests.

A fundraiser testified Wednesday that Melgen donated the money to a political action committee earmarked for New Jersey.

Earlier testimony described Menendez meeting with health and homeland security officials on issues that affected Melgen’s medical practice and his port security company.

Menendez and Melgen are longtime friends. They deny the charges and say there was no bribery arrangement.

The trial is in its fifth week.

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