Judge declares mistrial in New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez bribery trial

Democratic Senator Bob Menendez's bribery trial has ended in a mistrial after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict.

After nine weeks of testimony and nearly two weeks of deliberations, the jury in the Bob Menendez trial could not reach a verdict on even one of the 18 counts against the New Jersey senator.

"The idea of seeking partial verdicts becomes a little mischievous in the context of the note because then we reach a point where we may be sliding down the slope to coercion", said U.S. District Court Judge William H. Walls. Bob Menendez and a wealthy friend. Federal prosecutors would then decide whether to bring another case against him. "Nor are we willing to move away from our strong convictions", they said.

Menendez defense lawyer Abbe Lowell told the judge, "I think we have to declare a mistrial".

The trial was in its 11th week.

The trial lasted roughly 10 weeks, as Menendez's attorneys tried to have the case dismissed on several grounds after spending over a year exhausting the appeal process to avoid a trial.

It wasn't immediately clear if prosecutors meant to retry Menendez, who faces more than a dozen charges in connection with an alleged bribery scheme with a wealthy friend.

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"Since well before a New Jersey grand jury returned the initial indictment in April 2015, the defendants have attempted to undermine the legitimacy of the investigation and resulting charges by repeatedly using public statements and court filings to promote unfounded claims that this case is the result of a global conspiracy led by Menendez's political opponents", the Justice Department claimed in a document outlining their evidence against Menendez.

The bribery trial of Sen.

The jurors were instructed that they could find the men guilty even if they felt the prosecution didn't match specific gifts to specific acts by Menendez. An attorney for co-defendant Salomon Melgen asked Walls to poll the jury individually to confirm they are deadlocked. Robert Menendez told the judge Thursday that they cannot agree on a verdict in the high-profile case.

Jurors have begun a seventh full day of deliberations in the bribery trial of Sen.

Earlier on Thursday, jurors delivered Walls a note that said they were deadlocked after "slowly" reviewing all the evidence. She told reporters that most jurors appeared in favor of acquittal.

If they don't reach a verdict Thursday, deliberations might resume Monday. Some Republicans had hoped for Menendez's conviction and resignation by mid-January, which would have given outgoing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, the chance to pick his replacement.

The men, deny the 18 counts of bribery, fraud and other crimes with which they have been charged.


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