Justice Department will re-try Sen. Menendez

Adjust Comment Print

A trial last fall resulted in a hung jury.

Prosecutors accuse Menendez of exchanging political favors for bribes, including luxury hotel rooms, rides on a private jet, and more than $600,000 in political contributions from Melgen. Menendez pleaded not guilty to all charges. "The decision to retry this case was made based on the facts and the law, following a careful review".

Menendez is up for reelection in 2018. The Democratic Party continued standing by him, too. Republicans now have two vote majority. Though former GOP Gov. Chris Christie exited with record low approval ratings, he was elected twice.

In exchange, prosecutors charged, the New Jersey Democrat helped Melgen's foreign mistresses secure visas, intervened in a multimillion-dollar Medicare dispute and pressured USA officials to safeguard a lucrative port security contract in the Dominican Republic. Bob Torricelli, ultimately decided against challenging him in the party's primary.

"To those who were digging my political grave so they could jump into my seat, I know who you are and I won't forget you", he said at the time.

Mr. Menendez's office did not immediately respond to request for comment. "Senator Menendez fully intends to be vindicated-again".

More news: High School Friend Arrested, Charged with Death of Pre-Med Student

The government also said jurors should be kept separate from a hallway outside the courtroom where Menendez occasionally prayed with clergy members during the first trial.

That case ended after a juror, who was excused from deliberations due to vacation plans, told the media that the panel was deadlocked. "Certain elements of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and of our state cannot understand or, even worse, accept that the Latino kid from Union City and Hudson County can grow up and be a U.S. senator and be honest".

The DOJ is calling for Menendez to face a retrial on corruption and bribery charges "at the earliest possible date". Both Menendez and co-defendant Salomon Melgen are Hispanic.

The Cuban-born legislator has been accused by the Justice Department of eight corruption charges and three of "fraud against the honesty of public service", among others, which include benefits obtained through his relationship with the Dominican millionaire Salomón Melgen.

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