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Defense: Friendship between Menendez and co-defendant is key

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez is a longtime friend of the Florida eye doctor with whom he's on trial, and the government's fraud and bribery case against them is built on assumptions, the doctor's attorney said Thursday in his opening statement. The government alleges trips paid for by Salomon Melgen, and campaign contributions he made to Menendez, were to get the New Jersey Democrat to use his influence to help Melgen's business interests.
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