Menendez Emotional After Judge Declares Mistrial in Bribery, Corruption Case

Tom Williams  CQ Roll Call  Getty

Bob Menendez's trial said for a second time Thursday that they are deadlocked on the counts of the indictment, a strong sign that the case may soon end in a mistrial.

Regardless of the verdict, the case has rocked Menendez's political career.

Jurors sent a note to Walls shortly before noon on Thursday, explaining that they remained unable to agree on a verdict.

A federal judge presiding over the corruption and bribery case against Sen.

And Democrats said they were ready to welcome Menendez back with open arms. While saying they had "reviewed all the evidence slowly, thoroughly and in great detail", they concluded: "We can not reach a unanimous decision on any of the charges, nor are we willing to move away from our strong convictions".

After more than a week of deliberations, the jury said that it could not reach a consensus on whether Menendez committed bribery by accepting gifts, campaign donations and vacations from a wealthy Florida eye doctor in exchange for political favors - or if the benefits were simply products of a long-time friendship between the two men.

"I prosecuted a lot of cases back in younger days, and if you had a mistrial and you had numerous jurors who were willing to say publicly they were going to acquit, that's it".

The Senator was facing 18 counts of corruption and pleaded not guilty to all charges. In exchange, Menendez helped Melgen with visa applications for his foreign-born lovers, among other political favors, the Justice Department contends.

Trump silent on sexual scandals until it's a Democrat
Trump has encouraged the hands-off approach in the absence of any good options for getting involved, White House officials said. They have heightened ideological splits in the Republican Party and could help decide who controls the Senate.

Deliberations began seven days ago, after two years prepping for trial.

But Menendez's problems will not end at the USA courthouse in Newark, New Jersey, even if he is tried again.

Federal prosecutors are expected to review the details of the trial prior to deciding if they will retry Menendez and Melgen.

On Thursday afternoon, after the mistrial, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he favored the Senate ethics investigation into Menendez. "He is one of only 12 US senators to have been indicted in our history". "His trial shed light on serious accusations of violating the public's trust as an elected official, as well as potential violations of the Senate's Code of Conduct".

McConnell said because of the seriousness of the situation, the Senate Ethics Committee should look at the Menendez charges, as it had been doing in 2012. "... I have full faith in the ethics committee".

Mr Menendez is also accused of lying to the government about his finances for failing to report gifts from the doctor - a move he claimed was an administrative oversight.

Indeed, Menendez today seemed very much like a candidate who intends to seek another term, and his odds of success aren't bad.

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