The Justice Department intends to retry New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez for bribery and corruption, the agency told a federal court in New Jersey on Friday.
“The United States files this notice of intent to retry the defendants and requests that the Court set the case for retrial at the earliest possible date,” reads a notice submitted by Annalou Tirol, the acting chief of the Justice Department’s public integrity section.
Menendez and his longtime friend, a Florida eye doctor named Salomon Melgen, were indicted in 2015 on bribery and corruption charges.
Prosecutors alleged that Melgen gave Menendez gifts of cash, trips and vacations in exchange for political favors. Melgen was under federal scrutiny over a medical billing dispute, and Menendez arranged meetings with government officials in order to help his pal.
Menendez, a Democrat, denied accepting bribes from Melgen. Instead, he claimed that he tried to help Melgen out of the goodness of his heart.
Melgen was found guilty last April on 67 counts of defrauding Medicare to the tune of $105 million. He has yet to be sentenced. Mendendez’s bribery and corruption trial ended in a deadlock in November. The jury reportedly broke 10-2 in favor of acquittal.
“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,” Tirol said in Friday’s court filing.
“The first trial ended in a mistrial with a deadlocked jury. An early retrial date is in the best interests of the public, and the United States is available to schedule a retrial at the Court’s earliest convenience.”
Menendez is up for re-election in November.