Menendez Trial Jury To Hear Testimony From Former Iowa Sen. Harkin

Julio Cortez/AP

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Jurors in the bribery trial of Democratic New Jersey U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez are expected to hear testimony from Democratic former Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin.

The prosecution contends Menendez set up a meeting between Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen and Harkin in 2011 to see if Harkin could help with Melgen’s Medicare billing dispute. Harkin chaired a Senate health committee at the time.

An administrator contracted by Medicare testified Wednesday that Menendez’s staffers urged her office not to seek $8.9 million from Melgen in the dispute because Medicare’s billing policies were contradictory.

Prosecutors allege Menendez took various actions on behalf of Melgen in exchange for gifts including flights on Melgen’s private jet and luxury hotel stays.

Defense lawyers deny any bribery agreement between the longtime friends.