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Determining intent will be crucial in Menendez bribery trial

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — How a jury tackles the question of "why?" and not "what?" could hold the key to U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez's bribery trial. The battle lines were drawn during opening statements on Wednesday when defense attorney Abbe Lowell told jurors he would stipulate — not contest, in essence — to all of the acts the government says the New Jersey Democrat took. Those included taking luxury vacations courtesy of Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen, whom he'd known since the early 1990s, and meeting and corresponding with government officials on issues that could affect Melgen's business interests in Florida and in the Dominican Republic.
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