Menendez asking court to drop corruption charges

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- Lawyers for U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey are asking a federal court to dismiss political corruption charges against the Democrat.

They cite in court papers filed Tuesday a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decision and recent rulings they say narrow the scope of the federal bribery statute. They point to an appeals court ruling last week, reversing the corruption conviction and ordering the retrial of former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. 

Prosecutors allege Menendez used his official influence to set up meetings with government officials aimed at helping a Florida eye doctor in a Medicare dispute and with a business interest involving port security in the Dominican Republic.

Menendez maintains he was seeking to influence future policy and wasn't advocating on behalf of his friend.

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