Menendez Judge Meeting Privately With Each Member of Deadlocked Jury

Aaron Brown
November 17, 2017

Robert Menendez ended in a mistrial Thursday after seven tense days of deliberations by a deeply divided jury.

Menendez held a brief presser, where he said that the entirety of this case, how it was handled, how it was prosecuted, and how it was investigated was wrong.

The Kentucky Republican said that because of the seriousness of the charges, he was calling on the Ethics panel to immediately investigate the senator's actions that led to the indictment.

It's possible that Menendez could face a primary challenger, but New Jersey's incoming Democratic governor, Phil Murphy, has already said the senator will have his "full support" if Menendez runs again.

"Certain elements of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and of our state cannot stand, or even worse, accept that the Latino kid from Union City and Hudson County could grow up to be a United States senator and be honest", said the 63-year-old son of Cuban immigrants.

After interviewing the jury foreman and juror No. 2, the judge appeared to spend at least 30 minutes with juror No. 3.

Norris said that after the prosecution rested, "in my gut I was like, 'That's it?"

Prosecutors told jurors that Melgen had offered his private jet for the two-term senator's use, showered him with luxury trips and steered more than $750,000 in campaign contributions to entities supporting Menendez.

Still Deadlocked: Jury Says They're Divided In Menendez's Corruption Trial

The defense explained that Menendez and Melgen were just old friends and argued that none of the Senator's favors were done in exchange for Melgen's gifts.

The hung jury comes after almost two weeks of deliberations. "I just didn't see a smoking gun". Menendez also is charged with making false statements for failing to report Melgen's gifts on Senate disclosure forms. Dr. Melgen was convicted earlier this year for Medicare fraud, but had his sentencing delayed until after Menendez's trial. "To those who embraced me in my darkest moment, I love you".

The Republicans have a thin, 52-48 edge in the Senate as they try to push through President Donald Trump's agenda.

Last week, a juror excused for a long-planned vacation to the Bahamas telegraphed the divisions in the jury room and predicted a mistrial.

In telling the judge they were deadlocked for the second time, the jurors said they were hung on all counts despite going through the evidence slowly, thoroughly and with great detail, according to part of the jury's note read by defense attorney Abbe Lowell.

After six days of jury deliberations the felony corruption trial against Sen. Bob McDonnell of Virginia and narrowed the definition of bribery.

The judge told them to sleep on it and return the next day, Tuesday. Menendez's lawyers had likewise hoped to get the case against the senator dismissed, but the judge refused.

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