NEWARK – Testimony is over in the corruption trial of Sen. Bob Menendez, as both defense teams rested this afternoon and the prosecution declined to put on a rebuttal case, citing the strength of their evidence.
Now, the case moves to the jury phase. But jurors will not get the case until the attorneys and the judge can hammer out the jury charges, an often lengthy document that defines the scope of the offenses in the case. The defense already has some charges ready – including a line that declares “senators are allowed to have friends.”
Arguments to finalize the charges will start tomorrow outside the presence of the jury. Judge William Walls scheduled the day Tuesday for the work but was not optimistic it could be completed.
“Knowing how this case has been, I doubt we will finish tomorrow in terms of the charge,” Walls said.
Once the charges are complete, they will be read to the jury, followed by closing arguments. Closings could start as early as Wednesday, but prosecution lawyer Peter Koski told Walls he wanted all the closing arguments on a single day, making Thursday more likely.
Neither Menendez nor his co-defendant and friend Dr. Salomon Melgen testified in their own defense.
The defense case started two weeks ago after the judge refused to throw out the indictment against Menendez and Melgen.
This is a breaking news story. Stay with InsiderNJ for updates.
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