What a life!
Photos just released in Sen. Robert Menendez’s bribery trial show him living large with his wealthy eye doctor pal Salomon Melgen, including lounge-time by the pool, weekends in the Caribbean with his lady friend, and access to golf courses with ocean views.
The photos are evidence in the Newark federal trial but were not made public until this week, when the judge ordered that they be released following a letter by The Post’s lawyers.
Photos released by the defense show the New Jersey senator enjoying dinner with his then-girlfriend, Gwendolyn Beck, at Melgen’s private villa in the Dominican Republic. The feds have accused Menendez, 63, of bringing Beck, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for congress in 2014, to the Dominican Republic on Melgen’s dime twice.
Another defense photo shows Menendez lounging by the pool with Melgen at his villa, which sits in a 7,000-acre gated community that includes five golf courses and a marina dotted with yachts.
The government, meanwhile, has introduced as evidence glossy photos showcasing Melgen’s two private jets, the gated Caribbean resort where he owned a vacation home and another resort known as Tortuga Bay where he once treated Menendez and Beck to a weekend getaway, according to the feds.
The government claims Melgen, 63, doled out gifts — including free private jet flights and campaign contributions — in exchange for official favors from Menendez, including help getting visas for the ophthalmologist’s foreign girlfriends.
The men insist that any gifts and favors exchanged were the result of their decades-long friendship.
The defense has argued their photos present a more modest look at Melgen’s villa, backing their theory that the two men are simply good friends who helped each other out from time to time.
“This isn’t a bribe. This is a family dinner,” Melgen’s lawyer, Kirk Ogrosky, told the jury about the photo of the group dinner at Melgen’s home.
“Look, it’s nice. It’s nice down there. Don’t get me wrong. But this is a family dinner. This is not a bribe. And what would happen is they would have dinner and then the senator and the…