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Prosecutors drop bribery case against Sen. Bob Mendendez

By Ed Adamczyk
Prosecutors drop bribery case against Sen. Bob Mendendez
Federal prosecutors said Wednesday they will drop remaining bribery charges against New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez. File Photo by Erin Schaff/UPI. | License Photo

Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Federal prosecutors filed a motion on Wednesday to drop their bribery case against New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez.

The move indicates that Menendez will not be retried on corruption charges.

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Last week, U.S. District Judge William Walls acquitted Menendez and co-defendent Salomon Melgen of seven charges -- leaving four counts, including bribery and fraud, intact. Mendenez was also separately charged with making false statements in allegedly lying on Senate disclosure forms.

The charges tossed by the judge dealt with alleged political donations to Menendez by Melgen. Mendendez' defense lawyers argued that the donations must be tied to specific actions by Menendez to be considered bribes.

Although prosecutors said immediately after the acquittals that they would retry the remaining cases, they decided otherwise Wednesday.

"Given the impact of the Court's Jan. 24 order on the charges and the evidence admissible in a retrial, the United States has determined that it will not retry the defendants on the remaining charges," the statement said.

The Justice Department's case began after Menendez's first corruption trial ended in a mistrial in November.

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Menendez has been a United States senator representing New Jersey since 2006.

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