NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Attorneys representing indicted U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez and a donor who’s charged with bribing him in exchange for political favors were in court in Newark Wednesday.

Menendez’s lawyer told the federal judge he may file to try and have the case moved out of New Jersey, possibly back to Flordia where the investigation began, WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported.

Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, has been charged with accepting nearly $1 million in gifts and campaign contributions from Salomon Melgen, an eye doctor and longtime friend of the senator’s, in exchange for a stream of political favors.

The Menendez defense team also said it might seek to have the senator tried separately from his campaign donor friend.

Prosecutors say the Melgen provided the senator with luxury vacations, airline travel and tens of thousands of dollars in contributions to a legal defense fund. Federal prosecutors also allege the senator pressured officials to resolve a multimillion-dollar billing dispute between Melgen and Medicare and helped secure travel visas for Melgen’s foreign girlfriends.

Menendez and Melgen have pleaded not guilty. Menendez claims prosecutors have confused their friendship with corruption.

A tentative trial date is set for October, Smith reported.

A Quinnipiac University Poll released last week found that 52 percent of voters want Menendez to resign while 39 percent think he should not.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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