Judge declares mistrial for Sen. Bob Menendez; jury hung

Judge declares mistrial for Sen. Bob Menendez; jury hung

[Ed. – After the earlier disclosures from the released juror, this seemed likely.  The number supposedly unconvinced, if the vote was 10-2 for acquittal, is surprising, however.  Is the federal prosecutor really that weak?  It’s pretty hard to bring a Democrat to trial; it seems unlikely the trial could have even gone forward if the case was so soft.]

The corruption trial of New Jersey’s Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Menendez ended in a mistrial on Thursday, after the jury said it was hopelessly deadlocked on bribery, fraud and other charges.

Menendez, 63, a longtime fixture in the state’s political circles who first joined the Senate in 2006, was accused of accepting private flights, campaign contributions and other bribes from a wealthy patron, Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen, in exchange for official favors.

The hung jury was a victory for Menendez and a major setback for federal prosecutors in what was the Justice Department’s first high-profile corruption trial since a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year limited its ability to bring such cases.

One juror, Ed Norris, told reporters the panel was split 10-2 in favor of acquittal, which could discourage the government from pursuing a second trial.

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