New Jersey US Sen. Menendez pleads not guilty to corruption

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U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez arrives at Newark federal court, Thursday, April 2, 2015, in Newark, N.J.  (John Minchillo/AP File Photo)

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez arrives at Newark federal court, Thursday, April 2, 2015, in Newark, N.J. (John Minchillo/AP File Photo)

New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez has entered a not guilty plea a day after being indicted on corruption charges.

He entered the plea in front of a federal judge in Newark Thursday.

Menendez was charged Wednesday with accepting nearly $1 million in gifts and campaign contributions from a longtime friend in exchange for a stream of political favors.

His co-defendant, Salomon Melgen, also pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors say the wealthy Florida eye doctor provided the senator with luxury vacations, airline travel and tens of thousands of dollars in contributions to a legal defense fund.

Menendez said Wednesday night that he will be vindicated and that he’s “not going anywhere.”

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