Federal Prosecutors Announce Plans to Retry Senator Menendez

Mistrial Declared in Menendez Bribery Case After 2 Deadlocks

Mistrial Declared in Menendez Bribery Case After 2 Deadlocks

"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", reads the one-paragraph notice signed by AnnaLou Tirol, acting chief of the department's public integrity section. "Menendez fully intends to be vindicated - again". In exchange, they said, Menendez pressured Medicare officials to revamp the agency's billing policies after Melgen was found to have overbilled it by millions of dollars.

During the month of December, Menendez said it was unlikely that prosecutors would continue with the case, but if they did, he added: "Bring it on".

In a December interview with reporters, Menendez sharply criticized the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department for how they had pursued him, suggesting that his Hispanic heritage - and his roots in New Jersey's Hudson County, an area with a history of political corruption - may have played a role.

"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 made a decision to double down on an unjust prosecution". Menendez, who has represented New Jersey in the Senate since 2006, is expected to run for another six-year term this year, and the state's Democratic leaders have endorsed his bid despite the charges.

Menendez hailed the mistrial as a victory.

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The department filed a brief document on Friday in the federal court in Newark announcing its plans.

After the mistrial, Menendez quickly reengaged in his Senate duties - especially on immigration, an issue of special importance given that he is the longest-serving Latino in the chamber.

Menendez faced charges of conspiracy, bribery and honest services fraud related to allegedly abusing the power of his office that could have carried decades in prison. Walls declared a mistrial after individually interviewing members of the jury when it remained deadlocked. The government says Menendez used political favors for gifts and donations to political campaigns.

Prosecutors relied mostly on circumstantial evidence to prove their case - spending the opening weeks of the trial painting a jet-setting lifestyle of the rich and powerful before ultimately turning to the "official acts" they argued Menendez did to help his friend. Instead, he claimed that he tried to help Melgen out of the goodness of his heart. Another was a dispute over port security equipment involving a company Melgen owned in the Dominican Republic.

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