Speed Reads

case dismissed

Justice Department to drop charges against Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez

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."