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Justice Dept intends to re-try Menendez in corruption case


The Justice Department filed a notice Friday that it will re-try Democratic New Jersey Sen. "Defendants Robert Menendez and Salomon Melgen have been indicted for bribery and corruption by two separate grand juries properly empaneled in the District of New Jersey".

Prosecutors allege that Menendez engaged in a bribery scheme with co-defendant Salomon Melgen, a longtime friend, doing political favors for him in exchange for luxury hotel stays and campaign donations. The filing to the judge seeks a retrial "at the earliest possible date". If they wanted to, he said, they should "bring it on".

An 11-week trial last fall resulted in a hung jury.

The department filed a brief document on Friday in the federal court in Newark announcing its plans.

However, the New Jersey senator criticized the Justice Department, whom he considered out of place in its search.




Mr. Menendez's office did not immediately respond to request for comment.

November's mistrial was a serious blow to the Justice Department, which has investigated Menendez for almost five years.

After the first jury deadlocked in the case, one of the jurors told The Washington Post that the government didn't have enough evidence to support its charges.

"We regret that the DOJ, after spending millions and millions of taxpayer dollars, and failing to prove a single allegation in a court of law, has chose to double down on an unjust prosecution", the statement said. Defense lawyers discounted the notion that Menendez accepted bribes from Melgen by citing the two men's long-running friendship.

Both Menendez and Melgen have maintained their innocence. They want a 30-year sentence, while the 63-year-old Melgen's attorneys are seeking a much shorter sentence and have argued prosecutors only proved he stole $64,000.

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