The justices let stand a lower court ruling that refused to dismiss charges including conspiracy, bribery and fraud against the Democratic lawmaker.
Menendez was indicted in 2015 after prosecutors said he took official action on behalf of a longtime friend who had given him gifts and campaign donations including flights aboard a luxury jet and a
The indictment alleges Menendez used his official influence to set up meetings with government officials aimed at helping Melgen in a
Menendez has contended he was seeking to influence future policy instead of advocating on behalf of his friend, and that the government is attempting to use the timing of campaign donations to create a quid pro quo between him and Melgen that he claims never existed.
A federal judge in
"It's disappointing that the
Menendez "has always acted in accordance with the law," Lowell added, and "remains confident that he will be vindicated when all the facts are heard at trial."
In a brief filed last month, the government wrote that the clause is limited to acts that are "integral to the legislative process" and doesn't cover attempts to influence government agencies.
The appeals court said that issue should be argued in front of a jury.