Government won't retry New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez on corruption charges
01 February, 2018, 01:11 | Author: Mable Gonzales
That's a higher standard than the one applied to gifts Melgen gave to Menendez over the years that are the basis for the bribery charges that remain.
Federal prosecutors alleged that Menedez carried out "official favors" for his friend and Democratic donor Melgen in exchange for private jet flights, vacations, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions.
The senator was still accused of taking bribes in the form of private jet travel and a Paris vacation in exchange for pushing the doctor's business interests at the highest levels of the USA government. Prosecutors lacked smoking-gun evidence and failed to prove a corrupt bargain between the senator and the doctor, he said. "Despite the five years of this ordeal, Sen".
"From the very beginning, I never wavered in my innocence and my belief that justice would prevail".
Menendez, in turn, allegedly tried to help Melgen get USA visas for his girlfriends, brought his influence to bear in an $8.9 million billing dispute with Medicare and helped out with a port security contract in the Dominican Republic.
First indicted in 2015, the case against Senator Menendez ended in a mistrial a year ago when federal prosecutors failed to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Afterward, jurors said they had voted overwhelmingly for acquittal.
Government prosecutors announced Wednesday they will not retry New Jersey Sen.
According to numerous news reports, corruption and bribery charges against U.S. Senator Bob Menendez are being dropped by the Justice Department. Prosecutors said he took gifts from Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen, including a luxury hotel stay, private jet flights and campaign donations, in exchange for which he tried to help Melgen get USA visas for his girlfriends, intervened in the eye doctor's $8.9 million billing dispute with Medicare and assisted with a port security contract of Melgen's in the Dominican Republic.
"With no cooperating witness, no tape recordings and no videotapes, this was always going to be a challenging case for the government", Mintz said.
Another former USA prosecutor, Lee Vartan, said that the case was weak from the start and that the Justice Department shouldn't have pursued a retrial.
Prosecutors spent more than two years building their case against Menendez, whose political career was upended in 2015 when a grand jury accused him of effectively selling his office so he could live a life of luxury he couldn't afford. His poll ratings dipped dramatically during the trial, but he has a formidable network of political allies and $3.9 million on hand in his campaign bank account.
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