Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez to be retried in corruption case

Glen Norman
January 20, 2018

Federal prosecutors said yesterday that they will retry U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez and a Florida ophthalmologist on corruption charges in New Jersey federal court after a deadlocked jury led to a mistrial last fall. A juror said at the time that the jurors leaned 10-2 toward acquittal.

The defense argued that the gifts came out of 20 years of friendship and that Menendez's staff mistakenly believed they were exempt from disclosure requirements.

The Justice Department said the decision to retry the case "was made based on the facts and the law, following a careful review". Bob Menendez back on trial "at the earliest possible date".

"I want to thank the jury, 12 New Jerseyans who saw through the government's false claims and used their Jersey common sense to reject it", he told reporters outside the courthouse, before blasting the Justice Department.

Menendez, a Democrat, is running for reelection as U.S. Senator this year, and this prosecution is set against a backdrop in which control of the U.S. Senate is at state.

On Friday the senator's office issued a statement batting away the case against Menendez as baseless. The judge declared a mistrial after interviewing jurors in his office, saying that there was "no alternative". Menendez's office says the government has chose to "double down on an unjust prosecution".

Despite his legal troubles, no viable Republican challenger has emerged to take on Menendez, who was first elected to the Senate in 2006.

Hugin, a former marine and the executive chairman of Celgene, has ties to former Gov. Chris Christie and is wealthy enough to self-fund a statewide campaign.

A Rutgers-Eagleton poll released November 30 - just days after the mistrial - found a majority of New Jersey voters said he should not be reelected. "All the while, Menendez is going to be on the sidelines trying to prove to a jury that he's not corrupt".

Other reports by

Discuss This Article