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Closing statements continue in Sen. Menendez’s corruption trial  

(NewsNation) — Closing arguments continued Tuesday in the corruption trial of New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez

Menendez and his wife, Nadine, are accused of accepting bribes such as cash and gold bars from wealthy New Jersey businessmen and performing favors in return. These favors allegedly include meddling in criminal investigations and taking actions that benefit the governments of Egypt and Qatar. 

The weeks-long trial is taking place in a Manhattan federal court. This trial marks the second time Menendez has faced federal corruption charges in a decade. 

Tuesday’s closing statements

The prosecution and defense both read closing statements on Tuesday ahead of jury deliberations. 

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Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Monteleoni accused Menendez of engaging in “wildly abnormal” behavior in response to bribes during a closing argument

The defense has been placing the blame for many of the charges on Menendez’s wife, whose trial has not yet begun. In closing statements, Menendez’s lawyer, Adam Fee, said that the prosecution had not proven that the gold bars or cash found in the house were bribes. 

Jury deliberations are expected to begin late Tuesday. 

Why is Sen. Menendez on trial?

Menendez pleaded not guilty to charges that he accepted bribes from three New Jersey businessmen including gold and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash from 2018 to 2022. 

He is on trial with two of the businessmen, Wael Hana and Fred Daibes, who have also both pleaded not guilty. A third businessman pleaded guilty and testified at the trial. 

Prosecutors say Hana enlisted Menendez to help him gain and protect a monopoly on the certification of meat exported from the U.S. to Egypt. Daibes is accused of giving Menendez and his wife gold bars and cash to get the senator to help him secure a multimillion-dollar deal with a Qatari investment fund, including by taking actions favorable to Qatar’s government.