NEWARK, NJ (CBS) — Jurors in the federal corruption trial of New Jersey US Senator Robert Menendez could begin their deliberations before the end of the day Monday.
This two month plus long trial in Newark has had its twists and turns. For example, Judge William Walls read his charge, an explanation of the law jurors must abide by, before attorneys began their closing arguments. It usually goes the other way around.
But those closings are likely to conclude Monday, with attorneys for Menendez and co-defendant Salomon Melgin reiterating their bottom line.
The two are friends, and there’s no crime in play here.
Prosecutors, in a likely rebuttal, will argue as they have from the beginning that Melgin plied Menendez with cash and gifts to help him with personal governmental issues.
One key to watch here. Judge Walls’s charge last week included an explanation of a recently redefined statue of what constitutes official bribery.
That redefinition, the result of a Supreme Court decision, could prove pivotal.
Although as any seasoned court observer knows too well, you can never predict what 12 jurors will do behind closed doors.