Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) began taking bribes just after entering office in 2006, federal prosecutors allege in a new court filing. Menendez, whose corruption trial begins next week, has denied the allegations against him. Federal prosecutors allege that Dr. Salomon Melgen, who was charged as a co-conspirator in the case, “began a pattern of treating Menendez to weekend and weeklong getaways in the Dominican Republic,” and that Menendez once demanded that Melgen pay for a $1500-per-night hotel room in Paris. In exchange, Menendez allegedly made “considerable efforts to pressure the Executive Branch on Melgen’s behalf.” Melgen has also donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to support Menendez politically. “The question of whether the defendants engaged in a corrupt scheme cannot be answered by the defendants’ conspiracy theories,” the prosecutors said.