14:25, November 16 63 0 abajournal.com

2017-11-16 14:25:05
Judge declares mistrial in corruption case against US Senator Menendez

A federal judge in Newark, New Jersey, has declared a mistrial in the corruption case against U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez.

U.S. District Judge William Walls acted after jurors said they could not reach a unanimous decision on any of the charges against the Democrat and a co-defendant, Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen, report the New York Times, the Washington Post, NJ.com and Politico.

It was the second time jurors said they couldn’t agree. Walls told jurors to resume deliberations after they reported a deadlock on Monday. On Thursday, jurors explained their disagreement in a note.

“We have each tried to look at this case from different viewpoints but still feel strongly in our positions, nor are we willing to move away from our strong convictions,” the note said.

Prosecutors were unable to produce any evidence directly tying Mendendez’s actions to an alleged bribe, according to Politico. Instead, the case was based mainly on timing between Mendendez’s actions and gifts from Melgen that included campaign contributions and luxury trips.

Prosecutors had claimed Menendez pressured officials to help Melgen get visas for foreign girlfriends, resolve a Medicare dispute and obtain a port security contract. Defense lawyers maintained the men were good friends, and Menendez was interested in Melgen’s disputes with federal agencies because they were related to broader policy issues.