Feds intend to retry Menendez and Melgen 'at the earliest possible date'

20 January, 2018, 08:11 | Author: Kim Reid
  • U.S. Senator Robert Menendez speaks to media as he departs the United States Court after his corruption trial ended in a mistrial

In 2015, Menendez was indicted on 18 counts of corruption, bribery and fraud for accepting bribes from a wealthy Florida donor and long-time friend in exchange for official favors. A statement released by the senator's office said that he "fully intends to be vindicated - again". Menendez is up for reelection in November, although he has not officially announced his candidacy.

Menendez's lawyers also contended also that the government failed to establish a direct connection between Melgen's gifts and specific actions taken by the senator.

"We regret that the DOJ, after spending millions and millions of taxpayer dollars, and failing to prove a single allegation in a court of law, has chose to double down on an unjust prosecution", Menendez's office said in a statement.

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"The United States files this notice of intent to retry the defendants and requests that the Court set the case for retrial at the earliest possible date", reads a notice submitted by Annalou Tirol, the acting chief of the Justice Department's public integrity section. Bob Menendez might spend 2018 asking voters to re-elect him and jurors to acquit him.

The first trial began the week of Labor Day and lasted until mid-November.

Democrats who closely watched Menendez's first trial as they weighed bids for his office, including former Sen.

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"The decision to retry this case was made based on the facts and the law, following a careful review", the Justice Department said in a statement. "Evidently, they did not hear the overwhelming voices of the New Jerseyans who served on the jury this fall. Sen". Walls declared a mistrial after individually interviewing members of the jury when it remained deadlocked. Instead, he claimed that he tried to help Melgen out of the goodness of his heart.

The weeks-long trial brought several dramatic moments, particularly when a juror who was dismissed for a planned vacation told reporters during deliberations that the jury was divided in the case, and that she thought Menendez should be found not guilty. Another was a dispute over port security equipment involving a company Melgen owned in the Dominican Republic.

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