Speed Reads

This just in

Corruption trial for Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez ends in mistrial

A judge on Thursday declared a mistrial in the corruption case against Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.). "I find you are unable to reach a verdict and that further deliberations would be futile," U.S. District Judge William Walls told the jurors, per The Philadelphia Inquirer's Andrew Seidman, "and that there is no alternative but to declare a mistrial."

The jurors had come to Walls earlier Thursday to say they were deadlocked — after having told Walls first on Monday that they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict. Menendez faced 18 counts of corruption, accused of providing favors for Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen in return for expensive gifts and thousands of dollars in donations.

Menendez and Melgen have denied all charges, saying the exchanges were the result of a close friendship. The jury had been deliberating for seven days, but on Thursday said, "We cannot reach a unanimous decision. Nor are we willing to move away from our strong convictions." The Washington Post notes that "while mistrials are generally considered wins for defense lawyers and losses for prosecutors, the Justice Department will likely feel significant internal pressure to put [Menendez] on trial again."