532 days after Trump's inauguration, the last remaining charges against Inauguration Day protesters have been dropped
The D.C. U.S. attorney's office has dropped charges against all Inauguration Day protesters who haven't yet been tried.
Of the 234 people arrested in Washington on President Trump's Inauguration Day, 38 were still awaiting trial. Defendants were charged with rioting that caused more than $100,000 in damage, BuzzFeed News' Zoe Tillman reports. But a statement from the U.S. attorney's office released Friday now says those charges will be dismissed.
BREAKING: The US attorney's office in DC is dismissing all remaining Inauguration Day mass arrest cases. The government had been unable to secure any convictions at trial so far; there were 38 cases left.
Statement from the US attorney's office: pic.twitter.com/ikySuzE65s
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) July 6, 2018
Twenty-one of the 234 arrested people did plead guilty, though those pleas happened before defendants went to trial, per The Washington Post. Everyone who went to trial was either acquitted or jurors could not agree on a guilty verdict. These "results," as the statement puts it, led the U.S. attorney's office to drop all remaining charges. Kathryn Krawczyk
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) is done fighting a nearly three-year-long bribery case. Politico reported Wednesday that the Department of Justice filed a motion to drop all remaining charges against the New Jersey senator, who was accused of trading political favors for cash and gifts from Florida doctor Salomon Melgen.
Less than two weeks ago, the Justice Department had announced its intention to retry Menendez, after a trial last year ended in a hung jury. But last week, a federal judge partially acquitted Menendez and Melgen of the charges against them. The Justice Department cited the judge's decision in its Wednesday announcement, saying that "given the impact" of the acquittal, it "has determined that it will not retry the defendants on the remaining charges."
Prosecutors alleged that Menendez had traded political influence for campaign donations, plush hotel rooms visits, and flights from Melgen. Menendez has long maintained his innocence. In a statement Wednesday, he said, "I am grateful that the Department of Justice has taken the time to re-evaluate its case and come to the appropriate conclusion." Kelly O'Meara Morales