NEWARK, N.J. — The prosecution on Wednesday rested its case against Sen. Robert Menendez and his co-defendant, Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen, after more than a month of testimony.
Prosecutors closed with a witness they had called several times over the course of the federal corruption trial: FBI agent Alan Mohl, who was a key witness in building the case against Menendez and Melgen.
“Your honor, this concludes our presentation of evidence of the case in chief and the United States now rests,” lead prosecutor Peter Koski told Judge William H. Walls after Mohl’s testimony on Wednesday morning.
Menendez attorney Abbe Lowell immediately moved to dismiss the case based on the “government’s lack of satisfying the burden of proof.”
Walls plans to hear those arguments Wednesday afternoon.
Mohl served as prosecutors’ vehicle for introducing documents — mostly emails — that sought to draw a timeline linking alleged favors a Democrat and New Jersey’s senior senator, did for Melgen and Melgen’s providing Menendez with hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions, private jet flights and lavish vacations.
Walls admonished both the prosecution and defense for trying to solicit more than mere dates and files from Mohl, saying they were treating him as a “fact witness.”
At one point, Walls grew agitated as Lowell sought to question Mohl about documents describing the use of Lucentis, an eye drug for which Melgen overbilled Medicare by $9 million. Prosecutors allege Menendez intervened with high-level federal officials to spare Melgen from having to pay back the money.
“How stupid do you think the jury and the court are?” Walls asked Lowell.