Corruption Trial Against Sen. Bob Menendez Ends In Mistrial

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

Still Deadlocked: Jury Says They're Divided In Menendez's Corruption Trial

The trial was in its 11th week.

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.

"The Department of Justice appreciates the jury's service in this lengthy trial", DOJ spokesperson Nicole Navas said. On Thursday, the jury said that after reviewing all the counts and evidence it was still unable to reach a unanimous verdict on any of the 18 counts.

Judge William Walls declared the mistrial Thursday.

Walls could instruct them when they return Wednesday morning that they can reach a verdict on some counts but not others. 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.

He said he would like to interview the jury foreman, while Menendez's lawyer asked the judge for a mistrial. Prosecutors say the senator accepted more than $600,000 in political contributions, a luxurious hotel suite at the Park Hyatt in Paris, and free rides on a private jet from a wealthy ophthalmologist, Dr. Salomon Melgen, in exchange for political favors.

Whether Menendez has been significantly politically damaged by the trial is unclear. At the end of the more than 10-week.

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
Jurors at Sen. Bob Menendez trial report deadlock

The hung jury is slightly better news for Senate Democrats - at least in the short term - who no longer have to fear losing one of their members in the midst of a pitched battle in Congress over legislation backed by President Trump.

Before attending the hearing, Menendez tried to portray himself as a fighter, claiming, "I've committed my entire adult life, since I was 19, fighting for the people of New Jersey".

In early November 2017, a juror from the trial, Evelyn Arroyo-Maultsby, was dismissed so she could go on a planned vacation to the Bahamas. Both were found guilty by juries to later have those convictions overturned because of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that raised the bar on what is considered public corruption.

Menendez said he felt vindicated. The senator was also charged with making false statements in failing to report gifts from Melgen on his financial disclosure form.

They argued that Menendez and Melgen have been friends for 20 years and that helping a friend is not the same as corruption, and that Menendez's actions on behalf of a friend are protected by several legal doctrines and precedents.

Prosecutors clearly want deliberations to continue. Lowell said jurors had a strong difference in viewpoints since deliberations began seven days ago.

The men each face about a dozen counts including bribery, fraud and conspiracy.

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