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Feds intend to retry Menendez and Melgen 'at the earliest possible date'

Two months after a jury failed to reach a verdict in the federal corruption case against Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez and co-defendant Salomon Melgen, the Justice Department on Friday said it wants to retry them — and soon.

Federal authorities allege Robert Menendez did political favors for Salomon Melgen in exchange for hotel stays, private jet flights and hundreds of thousands of dollars in political contributions. | Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images


POLITICO:

Two months after a jury failed to reach a verdict in the federal corruption case against Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez and co-defendant Salomon Melgen, the Justice Department on Friday said it wants to retry them — and soon.

“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. “Defendants Robert Menendez and Salomon Melgen have been indicted for bribery and corruption by two separate grand juries properly impaneled in the District of New Jersey. The first trial ended in a mistrial with a deadlocked jury. 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.”


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Menendez, New Jersey's senior senator, is up for reelection this year.

“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 decided to double down on an unjust prosecution," read a statement from Menendez's office. "Evidently, they did not hear the overwhelming voices of the New Jerseyans who served on the jury this fall. Senator Menendez fully intends to be vindicated — again.”

Kirk Ogrosky, an attorney for Melgen, said he was "very disappointed" the Justice Department would retry the case.

“Anyone who watched the testimony, reviewed the exhibits, and spoke to the jurors and the alternates in the first trial knows that this prosecution was ridiculous and should never have been brought," he said.

Menendez and Melgen’s first trial took place more than two years after they were indicted in 2015. Federal authorities allege Melgen, a wealthy Florida eye doctor, provided Menendez with private jet flights, lavish vacations and hundreds of thousands of dollars in political contributions. In exchange, Menendez allegedly went to bat for Melgen with federal officials to help his financial interests in a $9 million Medicare billing dispute and a port security contract in the Dominican Republic.

The federal government also alleges Menendez secured tourist visas for three

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