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DOJ Plans to Re-Try Bob Menendez for Corruption After First Trial Ends in Deadlock

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The Justice Department announced Friday that they are planning to retry the federal corruption case against New Jersey Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez.

The original case against Menendez and co-defendant Salmon Melgen ended in a mistrial in November.

“The United States files this notice of intent to retry the defendants and requests that the Court set the case for retrial at the earliest possible date,” the notice signed by AnnaLou Tirol, the acting chief of the department’s public integrity section, read, according to Politico.

“Defendants Robert Menendez and Salomon Melgen have been indicted for bribery and corruption by two separate grand juries properly impaneled in the District of New Jersey. The first trial ended in a mistrial with a deadlocked jury. An early retrial date is in the best interests of the public, and the United States is available to schedule a retrial at the Court’s earliest convenience.”

New Jersey’s senior senator plans to run for reelection this year, and his office issued a statement on the news.

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“We regret that the DOJ, after spending millions and millions of taxpayer dollars, and failing to prove a single allegation in a court of law, has decided to double down on an unjust prosecution. Evidently, they did not hear the overwhelming voices of the New Jerseyans who served on the jury this fall. Senator Menendez fully intends to be vindicated — again.”

Melgan’s attorney, Kirk Ogrosky, said he was “very disappointed” in the news that the DOJ has called for a retrial.

“Anyone who watched the testimony, reviewed the exhibits, and spoke to the jurors and the alternates in the first trial knows that this prosecution was ridiculous and should never have been brought,” he said.

Over 100 witnesses and thousands of documents were included in the first trial, according to Politico.

Do you think the case should be retried?

Mendendez faced an 18-count indictment including six counts of bribery, three counts of honest services fraud, one count of conspiracy, one count of interstate travel to carry out bribery and one count of making false statements on a congressional financial disclosure to conceal the crimes.

The most serious, making false statements to conceal the crimes, carried a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, according to The Record.

“Menendez, 63, accepted an abundance of campaign donations, gifts and vacations from Salomon Melgen, a Florida ophthalmologist. In return, Menendez used his position to lobby on behalf of Melgen’s business interests, according to prosecutors,” Fox News reported.

Melgen allegedly directed more than $750,000 in campaign contributions to Menendez, who is currently serving in his second term in Senate.

Menedenz had a strong message for any Democrat who is seeking to take his Senate seat:

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“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.”

Although the DOJ has called for a retrial, it is not a certainty that it will be administered.

“The conduct alleged in the indictment is serious and warrants retrial before a jury of citizens in the District of New Jersey,” DOJ spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle said in a statement. “The decision to retry this case was made based on the facts and the law, following a careful review. The charges contained in an indictment are merely accusations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Birthplace
Tucson, Arizona
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Graduated with Honors
Education
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Location
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith




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