Judge Declares A Mistrial In Sen. Robert Menendez Corruption Trial

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez waves at reporters before entering the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Courthouse for his federal corruption trial Thursday Nov. 16 2017 in Newark N.J. Jury deliberations continued on Thursday morning

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez fights tears as he speaks to reporters outside Martin Luther King Jr.

The federal judge presiding over the case, William Walls, decided not to toss any of the 18 corruption charges brought against him prior to jury deliberation.

Outside the courthouse late Wednesday, Menendez had thanked those jurors he said were "asserting my innocence" in the jury room. "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.

After nine weeks of testimony, the jury has struggled to reach a consensus on any of the charges against Menendez and his co-defendant, Salomon Melgen.

This is a developing story.

Menendez stands accused of doing official favors for Melgen at the highest levels of the federal government in exchange for luxury vacations, free flights on Melgen's private jets and more than $700,000 in political contributions.

Menendez held a brief presser, where he said that the entirety of this case, how it was handled, how it was prosecuted, and how it was investigated was wrong.

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez answers a question from a reporter before entering the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Courthouse for his federal corruption trial Thursday Nov. 16 2017 in Newark N.J. Jury deliberations continued

After nine weeks of testimony and nearly two weeks of deliberations, the jury in the Bob Menendez trial could not reach a verdict on even one of the 18 counts against the New Jersey senator.

Former Democratic Sen. Bob Torricelli was among those planning for a possible vacancy, but said Thursday he will not run in a primary.

The defense argued that the gifts were not bribes but tokens of friendship between two men who have known each other for more than 20 years and were "like brothers".

Deliberations began on November 6, but the jury restarted Monday after a juror was excused for a previously scheduled vacation and was replaced by an alternate.

While it dragged down his popularity, the more than four-year criminal investigation hasn't stopped Menendez from raising money and keeping the support of elected Democrats in the state and beyond. Because the jury failed to reach a verdict, a mistrial would was granted, at which point the government will either pursue a conviction in a new trial or decide not to pursue the case any further.

So what happens now to Menendez, who's up for re-election next year?

After the jury informed Walls that it remained deadlocked this morning, Walls rejected the prosecution's suggestion that the jury return to deliberation or give them option of issuing a partial verdict. I think we have a real hung jury, " said Lowell. The jurors first reported on Monday that they couldn't agree on a verdict, but the judge asked them to keep trying. Had Menendez been convicted, Republican senators would likely have pressed him to resign or called on Democrats to expel him, allowing Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to name his replacement.


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