Democrats on Capitol Hill and around the nation would be celebrating a good day as Senator Bob Menendez was granted a mistrial in his federal corruption case. The news was relegated to page-2 news as his colleague, Senator Al Franken, was accused of sexual misconduct.
Reports of a hopelessly deadlocked jury mean the Senator will likely not have to go to trial again following 11 weeks of drama in Newark, NJ. He and co-defendant Salomon Melgen weren’t acquitted, but the mistrial declaration means the government would have to rebuild their case to justify another go-around. Quotes from jurors indicate they didn’t have much of a case, allegedly 10 of the 12 jurors favored acquittal.
“When the prosecution rested…in my gut I was like, that was it, that’s all they had?” said Ed Norris, a 49-year-old juror from Roxbury Township.
New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez said Thursday he would not forget those seeking to benefit from his downfall after his federal trial for allegedly taking bribes ended in a mistrial.
“To those who were digging my political grave so that they could jump into my seat, I know who you are and I won’t forget you,” the Democrat said at a press conference.
Menendez was visibly emotional as he spoke to reporters following the conclusion of the trial. “The way this case started was wrong. The way it was investigated was wrong. The way it was prosecuted was wrong,” proclaimed the senator, thanking 12 jurors “who saw through the government’s false claims and used their Jersey common sense to reject it.”
In a statement, the Justice Department also thanked the jury, and said only “the department will carefully consider next steps in this important matter and report to the court at the appropriate time.”
A new Media Research Center analysis reported that ABC, CBS, and NBC devoted 40 times more of their morning and evening TV newscast coverage this past week to Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore’s alleged sexual assault accusers than to the ongoing federal trial of one of the Democrats’ most powerful, visible, and entrenched figures on Capitol Hill.
Four years ago, when the FBI raided the Florida home of Democratic donor and eye doctor Salomon Melgen, Menendez suddenly remembered that he had failed to pay back his “hermano” $60,000 for private jet flights to the Caribbean—where Melgen owns a tony home in the private Casa de Campo resort.