Prosecutors plan retrial for USA senator from NJ

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez speaks to media as he departs the United States Court after his corruption trial ended in a mistrial

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez speaks to media as he departs the United States Court after his corruption trial ended in a mistrial

According to a filling introduced by the Department of Justice this Friday, Senator Robert Menendez will be brought to justice again on charges of corruption, a battle he has waged for years.

The Department of Justice said it also would retry Menendez's co-defendant, Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen. A date hasn't been set for the new trial, but prosecutors asked the judge to schedule it for the "earliest possible date".

Prosecutors sought to tie gifts and campaign donations from Melgen to meetings and conversations Menendez had with executive branch officials on matters that would have benefited Melgen's business interests. "If they wanted to retry it, they should have done it two weeks after the trial instead of waiting".

After November's mistrial, a juror spoke to the media, saying that most thought the government had no case, and just two jurors out of 12 thought he was guilty.

Friday wasn't a good day for embattled Senator Robert Menendez.

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The Department of Justice intends to retry Sen.

In a filing Friday, they said defense lawyers "improperly injected race" into the first trial that ended in a hung jury last November.

Menendez is up for re-election in November.

"Sen. Menendez and Dr. Melgen were indicted in the District of New Jersey on charges that included conspiracy, bribery, and honest services fraud", the department said. In exchange, they said, Menendez pressured Medicare officials to revamp the agency's billing policies after Melgen was found to have overbilled it by millions of dollars.

Last month, Menendez told reporters he didn't think prosecutors would retry him.

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Menendez is also charged with making false statements on his senate financial disclosure forms.

New Jersey voters have not elected a Republican to the Senate in more than 40 years.

Menendez's seat could still be safe in his blue state: No Republicans now facing Menendez have shown any serious fundraising efforts, and Menendez has $3.9 million in the bank, according to his latest campaign finance report.

But the defense argued during the first trial that the gifts were not bribes but tokens of friendship between two men who were "like brothers".

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