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(WASHINGTON) — Sen. Bob Menendez sought on Wednesday to dismiss the charges against him, arguing the government’s accusations that he sold his office and sold out his nation “are outrageously false, and indeed distort reality.”

Menendez has been charged with taking gifts — gold bars, wads of cash and luxury watches, among others — in exchange for doing official favors for New Jersey businessmen and the governments of Egypt and Qatar. He is the first sitting member of Congress to ever be charged with conspiracy for a public official to act as a foreign agent.

Menendez has pleaded not guilty.

In his motion to dismiss, Menendez argued, “Every official act the Senator took represented his good-faith policy judgments based solely on appropriate considerations.”

The senator’s defense attorneys argued requiring him to stand trial would “offend the Constitution,” because the “Framers believed Members of Congress should be principally accountable to the people, not to other branches of government; legislators must explain their conduct to voters, not to overzealous prosecutors.”

There was no immediate comment from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which brought the case and will file a response to the court.

The defense argued the second superseding indictment — there has since been a third — violated the Speech or Debate Clause that precludes drawing in question the legislative acts of a member of Congress.

“Yet the Second Superseding Indictment here does exactly that. It calls into question how the Senator, in his work with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, exercised his committee prerogatives. It casts doubt on how New Jersey’s senior Senator advised the President in connection with federal nominations in his State. And it heaps shade on how the Senator performed fact-finding and information-gathering in support of his legislative functions. All of this conduct is constitutionally immune,” Menendez argued.

The motion followed a lengthy speech on the Senate floor Tuesday in which Menendez declared his innocence and lashed out at prosecutors.

Menendez said he received “absolutely nothing” from Qatar and criticized what he argued is a relentless campaign by prosecutors to get him to resign.

“The United States Attorney’s Office is engaged not in a prosecution, but a persecution. They seek a victory, not justice,” Menendez said Tuesday. “It’s an unfortunate reality but prosecutors sometimes shoot first before they even know all the facts.”

ABC News’ Mariam Khan contributed to this report.

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