Menendez Mistrial Due to Hung Jury is ‘Not an Acquittal’

Ken Boehm, Chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, today reacted to mistrial caused by a hung jury in the bribery case of Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ). He said, “Menendez and his lawyers are spinning this as a victory, but all they have bought is time. Prosecutors will most certainly seek to retry this case. It was not a conviction today, but it was not an acquittal.”

Boehm continued, “Menendez’ problems are far from over. If he has to face a second trial and jury, the chances are he will be convicted. Given the scale of the corruption, I think the prosecutors will prevail if they get a second bite of the apple.”

Among other allegations, the prosecution accused Menendez of pressuring U.S. officials to get the Dominican Republic government to honor a long-dormant port security deal with a company owned by Dr. Salomon Melgen, Menenez’ co-defendant.

The port security deal was uncovered by NLPC’s Tom Anderson, and was the subject of a front-page New York Times story on February 1, 2013. NLPC provided information to the Times on an exclusive basis, apparently prompting the federal criminal investigation.

According to Anderson, “Menendez and Melgen are not very convincing characters. It is inconceivable to me that they could just walk.”

He continued, “Lost in all the media coverage of girlfriends and jet rides is the human toll of Menendez’ abuse of his office. Melgen defrauded Medicare by performing unnecessary procedures on scores of unsuspecting elderly people so that he could shower his largesse on Menendez and get him re-elected. Did the jury even consider the victims?”