NEWARK, NJ COURT HOUSE –
WHAT IS THE QUID PRO QUO?
THERE WAS A NOTE FROM THE JURY AT ABOUT 11:30 AM TO THE JUDGE today. They told the Judge in great detail that it is now deadlocked. The attorney for the defense said that “we have a for real hung jury.” The defense is arguing that the judge should declare a mistrial. The prosecution said that this new jury in place since Monday, has delivered only three-days and it is too early to declare a mistrial. The judge was also asked by the prosecution to tell the jury that they can deliver a partial verdict. The Judge said that based on the note that does not seem an instruction that makes sense.
The judge wants to interview the foreman of the jury to hear in the foreman’s own words that the jury is deadlocked. What could happen next, the judge may want to speak to the individual other 11 members of the jury to poll them, to hear in their words if the jury is deadlocked. The jury has been deliberating amongst themselves, they did not ask for a read back for any of the testimony, they did not ask to review any of the exhibits. How wide the gap it is not known, what are the issues, it is not known.
This has been an 11-week trial, the jury has deliberated now for more than 30-hours, millions of dollars have been spent and now, if there is a mistrial, the government is going to decide if they are going to try MENENDEZ all over again from scratch.
It is expected that if there is a mistrial declared, he will come out and speak. Source: Fox News
A mistrial was declared. I guess that money can buy anything. New Jersey is the Swamp.
U.S. District Judge William Walls in Newark, New Jersey, allowed the trial to proceed on all charges, five days after suggesting he was inclined to dismiss the heart of the case based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year that narrowed the legal definition of public corruption.
Prosecutors have accused Menendez, a 63-year-old Democrat, of taking bribes from Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen in exchange for using his office to help the doctor in a variety of ways.
Both men deny wrongdoing and say Melgen was acting out of friendship.
After prosecutors rested their case on Wednesday, defense lawyers renewed their argument that the Supreme Court’s decision last year vacating the corruption conviction of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell also undermined the bribery counts against Menendez.
Walls initially appeared ready to accept the contention that the McDonnell ruling invalidated a bribery theory known as “stream of benefits,” in which someone offers bribes essentially to keep a politician on retainer, rather than paying for specific acts.
But following additional filings over the weekend and more arguments on Monday, Walls said he believed the stream of benefits theory is still valid under the law.
The McDonnell decision has caused several other corruption convictions to be overturned, including those of former top New York state lawmakers Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos.
During the trial’s first six weeks, prosecutors presented evidence that Menendez pressured federal officials to secure visas for Melgen’s girlfriends, resolve a port dispute involving one of Melgen’s businesses and change a Medicare reimbursement policy after the agency determined Melgen had overbilled it by millions of dollars.
In exchange, Melgen showered Menendez with private flights, luxury vacations and hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign backing, prosecutors said.
The defense is expected to begin on Monday afternoon. It is unlikely that Menendez will take the witness stand, though his lawyers have not said whether he plans to do so.
The case has been closely watched in Washington, where Republicans hold a 52-48 edge in the Senate. If Menendez is convicted and either resigns or is expelled before Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s term expires in January, then Christie would name his replacement.