Judge Declares A Mistrial In Sen. Robert Menendez Corruption Trial : NPR


Sen. Robert Menendez arrives to courtroom final month for his federal corruption trial in Newark, N.J.

Seth Wenig/AP

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Seth Wenig/AP

Sen. Robert Menendez arrives to courtroom final month for his federal corruption trial in Newark, N.J.

Seth Wenig/AP

A federal choose in New Jersey has declared a mistrial within the corruption trial of U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez.

It got here after the 12-person jury advised the choose for a second time that it was unable to achieve a unanimous verdict on any of the bribery, conspiracy, fraud, or false statements fees going through the high-ranking Democrat and his co-defendant, Solomon Melgen.

Bribery Scheme Or Just Friends? Sen. Menendez Trial Comes To A Close

Around 1 p.m., after rising from chambers, Menendez hugged and kissed his daughter and son. Defense attorneys shook palms and patted one another on the again, as prosecutors

Citing the deadlocked jury, Judge William Walls concluded the case in a mistrial simply after midday. “I find that you are unable to reach a verdict and that further deliberations would be futile,” he stated.

The choose’s resolution closes out an 11-week felony trial, which was at instances tedious but in addition rife with tales of ritzy worldwide journey and sizable marketing campaign contributions. It pulled again the curtain on the non-public lifetime of one of many Senate’s highest-ranking Democrats.

The trial within the federal courthouse in Newark additionally had nationwide political stakes: If Menendez had misplaced his seat, it may have tipped the political stability of the Senate additional towards Republicans and cleared the best way for laws championed by President Trump.

Accused Of Accepting Lavish Trips And Gifts, Sen. Menendez Goes On Trial

Now, one of many first prosecutions of a sitting U.S. senator in many years, which started with a bang, has led to a whimper.

It is unclear whether or not the federal government will retry the case.

Justice Department prosecutors had accused Menendez and Melgen, a wealth Florida ophthalmologist, of partaking in a bribery scheme that lasted seven years, buying and selling presents and journeys for presidency favors.

Melgen flew Menendez round on his non-public jet, paid for the senator to journey to Paris and the Dominican Republic, and gave good-looking political contributions to teams that benefited Menendez.

In return, the federal government alleged, Menendez helped Melgen safe journey visas for his overseas girlfriends, intervened on the physician’s behalf in an $eight.9 million Medicare overbilling case and tried to kind out a contract dispute at certainly one of Melgen’s corporations within the Dominican Republic.

Both males denied such an settlement ever existed, saying as a substitute that they had been merely shut mates.

The jury confirmed indicators this week that they’d be unable to achieve a verdict.

In a be aware on Monday, they advised Judge William Walls they had been deadlocked, solely hours right into a recent spherical of deliberations with an alternate who had changed a juror excused the earlier week.

At the time, Walls advised them to go dwelling for the day, eat an excellent meal and get some relaxation, and take a look at once more within the morning.

They deliberated all day Tuesday and Wednesday with out sending a be aware to the courtroom.

On Thursday, they once more despatched a be aware claiming they had been deadlocked. Prosecutor Peter Koski recommended that Walls ask jurors whether or not they thought they might attain a partial verdict, showing to hope for a conviction on a minimum of one depend. (In addition to the corruption fees confronted by each males, Menendez confronted an addition depend of omitting the presents from his annual monetary disclosure types within the Senate.)

But Walls demurred. “That would be a futile exercise,” he stated. “The next thing I know I am therefore readily criticized for going down this slippery slope of coercion.”

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