Judge Declares a Mistrial in Senator Menendez's Bribery Trial

Frederick Owens
November 17, 2017

A New Jersey federal judge on Thursday declared a mistrial in the case of Sen.

Prosecutors labeled the 63-year-old lawmaker as the "personal senator" to Florida ophthalmologist, Dr. Salomon Melgen, who is also on trial. Bob Menendez ended in a mistrial Thursday after the jury reported it was hopelessly deadlocked.

The most serious of the charges carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

The trial was in its 11th week. "It was a victimless crime, I think, and it was an email trial".

"We have each tried to look at this case from different viewpoints but still feel strongly in our positions, nor are we willing to move away from our strong convictions", the note said. Even after continually reviewing the evidence, they remained deadlocked by Thursday.

- November 13, 2017: Three hours after the jury restarts deliberations with a new juror, the panel tells Walls they can't reach a unanimous verdict on any of the counts.

"There is no alternative but to declare a mistrial", he said. A day later she changed her mind about the count 18 conviction. However, the charges still could hang over him as he seeks re-election next year, assuming the government seeks a retrial. At the end of the more than 10-week. Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat, testify on behalf of Menendez, calling him honest and trustworthy. But even if he avoids another trip to court, Menendez could have a tough time running for reelection, even in reliably blue New Jersey.

Jurors have begun a seventh full day of deliberations in the bribery trial of Sen.

More news: The changing world of verified Twitter accounts

U.S. District Judge William Walls read a note from the jury in court shortly before noon.

Bob Menendez and a wealthy friend could hear new instructions from the judge Wednesday as they resume deliberations. Both men deny the allegations.

Menendez also was charged with making false statements for failing to report Melgen's gifts on Senate disclosure forms.

Prosecutors are trying to convince Walls that deliberations should continue.

Menendez was accused of accepting bribes in exchange for political favors.

More: Bob Menendez bribery trial question: Is every Latino or contributor a constituent?

Menendez reciprocated by aiding Melgen's business interests, prosecutors added, including helping him with a Medicare billing dispute and obtaining visas for foreign women described as Melgen's girlfriends. He also said that there were some elements within the Federal Bureau of Investigation and New Jersey, who cannot stand that a Latino, could rise to become a United States Senator.

According to prosecutors, Melgen essentially put Menendez on the payroll and made the politician his "personal senator", available as needed. They also contended Menendez's meetings with government officials were focused on broad policy issues. On Monday the jury told the judge they were deadlocked, but he told them to keep going.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

Discuss This Article