Judge tosses 7 counts in Sen. Bob Menendez corruption case

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)

A judge has dismissed seven counts in the corruption case against U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez and a longtime friend.

The seven counts all dealt with alleged bribery involving political donations to the New Jersey Democrat by Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen.

Defense lawyers had argued those donations had to be tied to specific acts by Menendez to be considered bribes. That’s a higher standard than the one applied to gifts Melgen gave to Menendez.

Eleven counts remain against the two men including bribery and fraud. Menendez also faces one count of making false statements for allegedly lying on Senate disclosure forms.

The first trial ended in a hung jury last fall. The government said last week it will retry the pair. A new trial date hasn’t been set.

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