In a shocking turnaround, the U.S. Justice Department has dropped its case against Sen. Robert Menendez. In a court hearing in Newark today, federal prosecutors moved to dismiss the corruption indictment against the New Jersey Democrat.
Last week, a federal judge had acquitted Menendez and his co-defendant, Salomon Melgen, of seven of the 18 counts against them after a deadlocked jury could not reach a verdict in the high-profile case in November.
“Given the impact of the court’s Jan. 24 order on the charges and the evidence admissible in a retrial, the United States has determined that it will not retry the defendants on the remaining charges,” said a Department of Justice spokeswoman.
The decision will have major political consequences for Menendez, who is seeking re-election to the Senate this year and faced the possibility of a retrial on the eve of that campaign.