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Saturday November 25th, 2017 6:14AM

Attorneys, judge debate jury instructions at Menendez trial

By The Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Attorneys in the bribery trial of New Jersey U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez are arguing over what legal instructions the jury will hear from the judge before deliberating.

They gathered Tuesday with the jury not present.

The Democratic senator's trial is in its ninth week. Jurors could hear closing arguments from both sides on Wednesday or Thursday. But before that happens they'll be instructed by the judge on the specifics of the law.

The jury instructions are considered a particularly important phase of the trial because the definition of official bribery was altered by a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year that overturned the conviction of former Republican Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

Menendez is charged with taking gifts from a wealthy Florida donor in exchange for political influence. Menendez and the donor deny the charges.

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