SEVERE WX : Heat Advisory View Alerts

Justice Dept. won't retry Sen. Bob Menendez

The Justice Department Wednesday filed to dismiss its remaining charges against Sen. Bob Menendez, bringing the legal...

Posted: Jan 31, 2018 8:25 PM
Updated: Jan 31, 2018 8:25 PM

The Justice Department Wednesday filed to dismiss its remaining charges against Sen. Bob Menendez, bringing the legal case that has hovered over the New Jersey Democrat for years to a close.

An 11-week trial last fall resulted in a hung jury. Prosecutors had accused the senator of accepting bribes from Dr. Salomon Melgen, a wealthy ophthalmologist in Florida, in return for political favors. The charges against Melgen were also dropped.

Both men pleaded not guilty to all charges.

"Given the impact of the Court's Jan. 24 order on the charges and the evidence admissible in a retrial, the United States has determined that it will not retry the defendants on the remaining charges," DOJ spokeswoman Nicole Navas Oxman said.

"From the very beginning, I never wavered in my innocence and my belief that justice would prevail," Menendez said in a statement Wednesday. "I am grateful that the Department of Justice has taken the time to reevaluate its case and come to the appropriate conclusion. I thank God for hearing my prayers and for giving me strength during this difficult time. I have devoted my life to serving the people of New Jersey, and am forever thankful for all who have stood by me."

Melgen attorney Kirk Ogrosky called the case an "ill-fated adventure" by the FBI and Justice Department "that destroyed my client's life."

"Dr. Melgen is now and has always been innocent of the charges brought in New Jersey. He did not ever give anything to his best friend of over 20 years with an expectation that he would get something in return," Ogrosky said. "We take no pleasure in seeing justice done at this stage in a case that should never have been brought. All that said, justice today is better than continuing on to inevitable acquittals on the remaining counts. We hope that this type of meritless case is never again brought by DOJ."

After last fall's trial ended, one juror told reporters the jury was split 10-2 on all counts in favor of acquittal.

"In light of the results of a three month trial, all the jury said and the granting of our motion for acquittal on significant counts, we are pleased and grateful that the Justice Department made the right decision to end this case," Menendez attorney Abbe Lowell said Wednesday.

In November when the trial ended in a mistrial, Menendez criticized the Justice Department.

"The way this case started was wrong, the way it was investigated was wrong, the way it was prosecuted was wrong and the way it was tried was wrong as well," Menendez told reporters outside the courthouse. "Certain elements of the FBI and of our state cannot understand or, even worse, accept that the Latino kid from Union City and Hudson County can grow up and be a US senator and be honest."

RELATED: Bob Menendez charges, explained

Menendez faced charges of conspiracy, bribery and honest services fraud related to allegedly abusing the power of his office that could have carried decades in prison. Prosecutors said Menendez pressured high-level officials in the Obama administration and other career diplomats to help Melgen resolve his business disputes in exchange for political contributions, a luxurious hotel suite at the Park Hyatt in Paris and free rides on Melgen's private jet that Menendez failed to report on his Senate disclosure form.

Defense lawyers argued that Menendez and Melgen were longtime friends with no corrupt intent to commit a federal crime.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 48626

Reported Deaths: 2717
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11723689
Lake5212244
Elkhart332051
Allen2815132
St. Joseph198168
Cass16399
Hamilton1596101
Hendricks1414100
Johnson1288117
Porter73637
Tippecanoe7279
Madison66364
Clark66044
Bartholomew58944
Howard58057
LaPorte57926
Vanderburgh5706
Kosciusko5564
Marshall4926
Noble48428
Jackson4723
LaGrange4719
Delaware45050
Boone44943
Hancock44935
Shelby43025
Floyd38244
Morgan32931
Monroe30128
Montgomery29720
Grant29526
Clinton2892
Dubois2836
Henry28016
White26510
Decatur25532
Lawrence24625
Vigo2368
Dearborn23323
Warrick22129
Harrison21622
Greene19032
Miami1842
Jennings17612
Putnam1708
DeKalb1634
Scott1628
Daviess14717
Wayne1426
Orange13523
Perry1359
Steuben1302
Franklin1268
Ripley1227
Jasper1212
Wabash1132
Carroll1102
Fayette1017
Newton9910
Whitley965
Starke933
Gibson872
Randolph804
Huntington782
Wells751
Jefferson722
Fulton711
Jay680
Washington671
Pulaski661
Knox640
Clay604
Rush583
Adams501
Owen491
Benton480
Sullivan451
Posey440
Spencer411
Blackford392
Brown391
Crawford320
Fountain322
Tipton311
Switzerland270
Martin230
Parke230
Ohio170
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike110
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 58904

Reported Deaths: 2970
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin10587431
Cuyahoga8048379
Hamilton6158204
Lucas2788303
Marion273439
Pickaway220141
Summit2175207
Montgomery213431
Mahoning1849238
Butler163747
Columbiana130660
Stark1133113
Lorain105167
Trumbull97473
Warren88124
Clark7729
Delaware58815
Fairfield58516
Tuscarawas56810
Belmont55422
Medina53632
Lake50819
Licking49612
Miami47231
Portage44959
Ashtabula43644
Wood43651
Clermont4226
Geauga40843
Wayne36352
Richland3475
Allen32341
Mercer2879
Greene2769
Darke25326
Erie24622
Holmes2393
Huron2232
Madison1999
Ottawa15024
Sandusky13714
Crawford1365
Washington13520
Ross1303
Putnam12915
Coshocton1272
Hardin12312
Morrow1171
Auglaize1074
Jefferson912
Monroe8917
Union891
Muskingum861
Hancock791
Hocking788
Preble781
Guernsey743
Lawrence720
Williams722
Shelby694
Clinton680
Logan641
Athens631
Fulton620
Ashland601
Carroll593
Wyandot595
Brown581
Knox521
Defiance513
Fayette460
Highland451
Scioto450
Champaign411
Van Wert380
Perry351
Seneca342
Henry300
Paulding260
Adams241
Jackson240
Pike240
Vinton222
Gallia181
Harrison121
Meigs120
Morgan110
Noble110
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Few Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 73°
Angola
Few Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 72°
Huntington
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 73°
Decatur
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 72°
Van Wert
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 72°
Hot with storms Thursday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events