Witness: Sen. Menendez's friend paid for $8K private flight

September 13, 2017 - 10:26 am

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A witness in the bribery trial of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez and a wealthy donor has testified that the donor spent more than $8,000 to fly Menendez back to Washington from Florida in 2010.

Prosecutors say the donor, Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen, paid for the flight because his private jet was unavailable.

They are seeking to show that Melgen bribed Menendez with numerous free flights to and from Florida and the Dominican Republic so the New Jersey Democrat would lobby on behalf of his business interests.

Menendez and Melgen have contended in court filings that the gifts were between friends and weren't part of a bribery arrangement.

The trial is in its second week.

Menendez and Melgen face multiple fraud and bribery counts.

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