The Justice Department plans to put Sen. Robert Menendez back on trial on corruption charges, according to a new court filing Friday, following a mistrial last year in which most jurors wanted to acquit the New Jersey Democrat.
The trial in Newark federal court of Menendez and his co-defendant, Salomon Melgen, ended in a hung jury in November. When he came back to the Senate in December, the lawmaker said he doubted prosecutors would continue to pursue the case, but if they did, he added: “Bring it on.”
On Friday, public corruption prosecutors from the Justice Department filed notice saying they want a retrial “at the earliest possible date.”
Menendez, a senior lawmaker, has spent years fighting the charges. Prosecutors said he took gifts from Melgen, including a luxury hotel stay, private jet flights and campaign donations, in exchange for which he tried to help Melgen get U.S. visas for his girlfriends, intervened in the doctor’s $8.9 million billing dispute with Medicare and assisted with a port security contract of Melgen’s in the Dominican Republic.
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