Menendez trial to start as scheduled

A judge has ruled that the federal corruption trial of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez will begin as scheduled next month.

U.S. District Judge William Walls wrote Tuesday that he would wait to decide on the New Jersey Democrat’s motion to dismiss the charges until after prosecutors present their case.

Menendez argued in court filings that the charges should be tossed because the alleged acts aren’t criminal under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year in the case of ex-Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

In reversing McDonnell’s conviction, the Supreme Court narrowed the definition of what constitutes “official acts” by legislators.

Menendez faces multiple bribery and fraud counts. He is accused of taking gifts from a wealthy campaign donor in exchange for using his position to lobby for the donor’s business interests.

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