Judge Declares Mistrial in US Senator Bob Menendez's Corruption Case

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The Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. prosecuted the case, not the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, to avoid conflicts of interest.

The jury in the corruption trial of U.S. Sen.

After receiving Thursday's note, U.S. District Court Judge William Walls chose to interview the foreman and at least one other juror in chambers, in the presence of the lawyers on the case.

"It's not that they're just saying they can not reach a unanimous decision, they're going beyond that and saying they've reviewed all the evidence slowly and thoroughly in great detail...nor are we willing to move away from our strong convictions", Menendez's lawyer Abbe Lowell said.

Menendez could face punishment, up to possible expulsion, from his colleagues if they decide he violated Senate rules, including one that requires the disclosure of gifts such as the flights he took on the private jet of Florida eye specialist Salmon Melgen.

This is a developing story.

Sen. Bob Menendez's bribery trial has ended in a mistrial after the jury said it was hopelessly deadlocked on the charges against the Democrat and his co-defendant.

The federal bribery trial of Democratic Sen.

Defense attorneys countered that Menendez and Melgen were longtime buddies and the gifts, rather than bribes, reflecting their close relationship.

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Federal prosecutors no doubt are smarting at the outcome of the Menendez trial, and must now look long and hard at whether to pursue a second trial.

The first juror to give a glimpse into jury deliberations was Evelyn Arroyo-Maultsby who was dismissed because of a planned vacation.

"We can not reach a unanimous decision, " the jury said in a note just before lunch on Thursday. Senate Democrats nervous about the remote possibility of a Republican being named a temporary replacement for Menendez should he have been forced out of office before Democrat Phil Murphy becomes governor on January 16, 2018, are breathing easier.

Prosecutors have the option of retrying the men.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday called on the Ethics Committee to investigate Menendez for possible violations of the public trust and the Senate code of conduct.

Though the charges have not removed Menendez from office or pushed him to resign, it will serve as political baggage for the Democratic Party desperately trying to rebrand themselves ahead of the 2018 Midterm elections, when Menendez is up for re-election.

Menendez's defense lawyer on Thursday asked Judge William Walls to declare a mistrial.

The jurors sent a similar note on Monday, with Walls instructing the divided group to keep deliberating the case against the New Jersey Democrat. "If Menendez chooses to run for re-election, New Jersey voters will reject him".

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