United States prosecutors won't retry Menendez on corruption charges

01 February, 2018, 00:38 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Senator Bob Menendez questions Treasury Secretary Steven

Though prosecutors initially asked for the "earliest possible date" to retry Menendez, Judge Walls threw a wrench in that plan with a ruling on December 24 that dismissed six of the bribery charges against Menendez and co-defendant Salomon Melgen, a Florida ophthalmologist. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) on a series of corruption charges, the Justice Department suddenly switched gears on Wednesday, announcing that the charges would be dropped.

"From the very beginning, I never wavered in my innocence and my belief that justice would prevail", Menendez said in a statement Wednesday.

Prosecutors referenced that order in the motion they filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court.

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When matters arose, they were reviewed in accordance with these policies, and appropriate action was taken. "This complaint was no exception".

Another former USA prosecutor, Lee Vartan, said that the case was weak from the start and that the Justice Department shouldn't have pursued a retrial. Robert Menendez, in a decision that casts new doubt on the ability of government prosecutors to win bribery cases.

The Justice Department said it abandoned the case after U.S. District Judge William Walls ruled last week that the trial evidence and testimony persuaded him that Menendez was not guilty on four criminal counts.

The jury deadlocked in November, prompting the presiding judge to declare a mistrial after Menendez spent years fighting the charges. Walls left in place other bribery and fraud charges but bowed out of the case. "We take no pleasure in seeing justice done at this stage in a case that should never have been brought".

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He also nixed was a fraud charge from the 18-count indictment involving a $300,000 donation that Melgen had made to the Senate Majority political action committee that was earmarked for New Jersey.

Jurors later told reporters as many as 10 members of the panel were in favour of acquittal on all counts, leading many to speculate the government wouldn't pursue a retrial.

Walls noted that Menendez may have been frustrated, not over Melgen's specific case, but that concerns he had voiced in 2009 over the multidosing policy at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid went unheeded.

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"An early retrial date is in the best interests of the public, and the United States is available to schedule a retrial at the Court's earliest convenience", lawyers for the Government stated. At trial, his lawyers argued that the gifts and Menendez's advocacy were explained by his longtime friendship with Melgen.

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