14:01 GMT +308 December 2019
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    US Senator Bob Menendez

    Mistrial Declared in Corruption Trial of New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez

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    Democratic Senator Bob Menendez's bribery trial has ended in a mistrial after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict.

    The presiding judge declared the mistrial Thursday after interviewing all 12 jurors involved in the case.

    "I find that you are unable to reach a verdict and that further deliberations would be futile and there is no alternative but to declare a mistrial," Judge William Walls said.

    Menendez spoke with reporters on the matter after the judge's announcement.

    "I want to thank the jury who saw through the government's false claims," the senator said before thanking his attorneys. "I want to thank God because it was by his grace that I was delivered from an unjust prosecution."

    In total, jury deliberations lasted six days, but ended deadlocked. 

    "We have each tried to look at this case from different viewpoints but still feel strongly in our positions, nor are we willing to move away from our strong convictions," the jury wrote, according to Menendez attorney Abbe Lowell.

    The deliberations were re-started midway after one juror, Evelyn Arroyo-Maultsby, had to be replaced by an alternate because of a vacation she had informed the judge about in advance.

    "To me, they were all railroading him," Arroyo-Maultsby told reporters after being dismissed last Thursday. "If I would have stayed [on the jury], he would have been ‘not guilty' on every charge. It looks like a hung jury. They are just trying to throw a good man under the bus."

    Dominic Carter, a reporter with Verizon Fios News, caught up with Arroyo-Maultsby and told Sputnik Radio's Fault Lines yesterday what she had revealed to him. The dismissed juror shared that prior to her holiday, the entire jury unanimously voted to convict Menendez on count 18, which claims the politician made false statements regarding his US Senate financial disclosure form. 

    "Then when I got home and I started thinking about it, and then I started thinking about it, and then I started praying on it. I felt God was talking to me, saying ‘Evelyn, if you have doubts, remember the word ‘reasonable doubt,'" Arroyo-Maultsby told Carter, he revealed to Fault Lines' hosts. A day later she changed her mind about the count 18 conviction. 

    The 63-year-old senator was charged with conspiracy, bribery and honest services fraud related to abusing the power of his office. He was accused in connection with his dealings with Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen, described as the senator's friend. Prosecutors alleged that Menendez used his political clout to convince Department of Health and Human Service regulators to brush aside claims that Melgen had overbilled Medicare by $9 million and was repaid with lavish vacations and trips on the doctor's private jet. His defenders argued that Melgen, who is not a New Jersey resident, and Menendez are merely friends.  

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