Jurors in the federal corruption trial of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said Monday they are deadlocked.
U.S. District Judge William Walls in Newark, New Jersey, reportedly told members of the jury to go home, “clear their heads,” and resume trying to reach a verdict on Tuesday.
Menendez was indicted in April on 14 charges, including public corruption. The government alleged that Menendez accepted donations and pricey gifts from a Florida ophthalmologist and close friend, Salomon Melgen. In return, the government charged, Menendez helped Melgen challenge Medicare reimbursement charges his business faced at the time.
Menendez’s lawyers initially hoped the judge would toss out the charges due to a legal theory put into doubt by a Supreme Court decision last year that overturned the conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R). Walls declined to oblige, however, allowing the case to proceed last month.
Menendez consistently denied the charges, stating his indictment contradicted “my public service career and my entire life.” The senator was never called to testify. His defense featured bipartisan testimony from two character witnesses: Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.).
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.