The Latest: Prosecutors slam Menendez trial ‘racialization’
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The Latest on the government’s announcement that it will retry Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez on corruption charges (all times local):
Prosecutors planning to retry Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez on corruption charges want the judge to keep out what they call “racialized” comments by the defense.
In a filing Friday, they said defense lawyers “improperly injected race” into the first trial that ended in a hung jury last November. Both Menendez and co-defendant Salomon Melgen (MEHL’-genn) are Hispanic.
Prosecutors also said jurors should be kept separate from a hallway outside the courtroom where Menendez occasionally prayed with clergy members during the first trial.
Earlier Friday, the government announced it will retry Menendez and Salomon Melgen on multiple bribery and fraud charges.
U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, whose 11-week corruption trial ended in a hung jury in November, says he expects to be “vindicated again” in a retrial.
The New Jersey Democrat put out a statement Friday after the government announced it will retry Menendez and Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen (MEHL’-genn) on fraud and bribery counts.
Menendez’s statement said the government has decided to “double down on an unjust prosecution.”
Menendez and Melgen, his longtime friend, were charged with a bribery scheme in which Menendez allegedly traded political favors for gifts and campaign donations.
The government’s request means Menendez could be on trial while also running for re-election.
The government has told a federal judge in New Jersey it will seek a retrial of Sen. Bob Menendez, whose 11-week corruption trial ended in a hung jury in November.
The filing to the judge on Friday seeks a retrial of the Democrat “at the earliest possible date.”
Menendez and his longtime friend, Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen (MEHL’-genn), were charged with a bribery scheme in which Menendez traded political favors for gifts and campaign donations.
Menendez also was charged with making false statements on his Senate financial disclosure forms.
Defense lawyers argued that the gifts including luxury vacations were an expression of the pair’s longtime friendship and weren’t bribes.
Several jurors interviewed after the first trial said as many as 10 members of the panel were in favor of acquittal.