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Feds Want to Retry Sen. Robert Menendez for Corruption, Bribery

The Democrat New Jersey senator had originally been accused of accepting bribes

Federal prosecutors are seeking to retry U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez on bribery and corruption charges after an earlier trial ended in a deadlocked jury last fall.

The Department of Justice filed its notice of intent Friday to retry the Democrat senator, along with Florida doctor Salomon Melgen. 

The DOJ said in a statement that the case "warrants retrial before a jury of citizens in the District of New Jersey. The decision to retry this case was made based on the facts and the law, following a careful review." 

The Democrat New Jersey senator had originally been accused of accepting bribes from Florida doctor Salomon Melgen in exchange for using his political influence to help his friend with business disputes and with obtaining visas for the doctor's girlfriends. 

Menendez and Melgen contended that the gifts were evidence of the pair's longtime friendship, not a corrupt agreement.

In a statement to News 4 Friday, a spokesman for Menendez said, "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 decided to double down on an unjust prosecution. Evidently, they did not hear the overwhelming voices of the New Jerseyans who served on the jury this fall. Senator Menendez fully intends to be vindicated -- again."

The judge in Menendez's trial declared a hung jury after more than six full days of deliberations. Ten of 12 jurors wanted to acquit the senator, but two disagreed.

After the trial, an emotional Menendez blasted investigators for bringing the case against him in the first place. He also thanked those who helped him raise millions for his legal defense fund.

Menendez and Melgen faced about a dozen counts in each of their trials, including bribery, conspiracy and honest services fraud. The most serious charge against Menendez, honest services fraud, is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. He was also charged with failing to report the gifts from Melgen on his financial disclosure form.

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