Justice Department Won't Retry Sen. Menendez After Corruption Case Mistrial

Justice Department won't retry Sen. Bob Menendez on corruption charges

Prosecutors had accused the senator of accepting bribes from Dr. Salomon Melgen, a wealthy ophthalmologist in Florida, in return for political favors.

Twelve days after federal prosecutors told a federal court in New Jersey that they would re-try Sen.

Menendez has long maintained that the government's charges are an attempt to criminalize a longtime friendship between the two men, and that there was nothing corrupt about his acts on Melgen's behalf or Melgen's financial support of the senator.

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

The Justice Department on Wednesday filed a motion to dismiss charges against Sen.

Justice officials also Wednesday cited limitations placed by the judge on the evidence that would be admissible at a retrial.

In a terse filing, federal prosecutors asked U.S. District Court Judge Jose Linares to "dismiss the superseding indictment" against Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat.

Menendez and Melgen pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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Menendez's first trial ended in a hung jury in November, with 10 of the 12 jurors voting to acquit him.

Mr. Menendez had claimed he was vindicated after the mistrial - even though he remained under indictment - and was quick to celebrate Wednesday's decision.

Now, Menendez will have some time to fix his standing among voters, while Republicans decide whether it's worth the trouble to find a viable challenger and launch an expensive effort to oust him in a bad year and a bad state for them. "We hope that the Department of Justice lives up to its name and never brings this type of meritless case again".

However, the judge's decision on January 24 to drop seven of the 18 charges against the 63-year-old politician due to insufficient evidence led USA authorities to rethink their stance.

The senator was still accused of taking bribes in the form of private jet travel and a Paris vacation in exchange for pushing the doctor's business interests at the highest levels of the USA government.

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.

Walls' decision came days after the Justice Department said earlier this month that it meant to retry Menendez after Walls declared a mistrial in the corruption case in November.

A lawyer for Menendez said the senator was "pleased and grateful" about the decision.

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