NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A basic question has arisen in the bribery trial of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez that could prove significant. What is a constituent?
Defense attorneys have argued that co-defendant Salomon Melgen can be considered a constituent of Menendez's even though he lives in Florida and Menendez represents New Jersey.
They say Menendez frequently gets involved in issues that affect people around the country.
An indictment charges Melgen bribed Menendez with free flights on his private jet and luxury hotel stays, in exchange for Menendez's political influence.
Prosecutors have argued in court papers that Menendez's only constituents are the people in New Jersey who elected him.
How the judge rules on the question could affect jurors' perceptions of Menendez's intentions.