Bob Menendez trial: Judge declares mistrial after deadlock

Bob Menendez trial: Judge declares mistrial after deadlock

He was accused of accepting gifts and donations from Dr. Salomon Melgen, a Florida ophthalmologist, in exchange for helping the doctor challenge Medicare reimbursement charges. "We were deadlocked right out of the gate", Norris said.

"We can not reach a unanimous decision on any of the charges", the missive continued.

The announcement came hours after an alternate juror joined the group.

For his part, Walls did not appear inclined to pursue an Allen charge, and seemed ready to declare a mistrial.

Only one sitting senator is now under indictment, and as of this afternoon, the effort to prosecute him came up short.

Federal prosecutors are expected to review the details of the trial prior to deciding if they will retry Menendez and Melgen.

Menendez got trips on the doctor's private jet, vacations in Paris and the Dominican Republic and $750,000 in campaign contributions, the government argued in the court proceedings. In exchange, Menendez helped Melgen with visa applications for his foreign-born lovers, among other political favors, the Justice Department contends.

Prosecutors allege that Dr Melgen showered Mr Menendez with lavish gifts, including private jet flights, luxury hotel reservations and almost $750,000 (£569,000) in campaign contributions.

Lawyers for Menendez cast the lack of disclosures as an oversight - that the flights simply slipped between the cracks. They said the two men referred to each other as "hermano", the Spanish word for brother.

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Both men argued the gifts were due to their long-time friendship.

"They're the best when they're together", Menendez Jr. said on the witness stand.

The mistrial means federal prosecutors will have to consider a new trial. "You don't try the case over again", Leahy said.

Menendez was indicted earlier this year on 14 charges, including public corruption.

Regardless of the verdict, the case has rocked Menendez's political career. Up for reelection in 2018, the two-term senator could find himself in a situation where he's running for office while facing a retrial.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Thursday he would call on the Senate Ethics committee to "immediately investigate Senator Menendez's actions which led to his indictment".

Addressing reporters, an emotional Menendez said that "certain elements of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and of our state cannot understand, or even worse, accept that the Latino kid from Union City and Hudson County can grow up to be a United States senator and be honest". "He is one of only 12 USA senators to have been indicted in our history".

He added the trial "shed light on serious accusations of violating the public's trust as an elected official, as well as violations of the Senate's Code of Conduct".

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