NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Government prosecutors have decided not to retry New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez on corruption charges, after a judge threw out some of the counts last week.
Prosecutors filed the motion with the court on Wednesday.
“From the very beginning, I never wavered in my innocence and my belief that justice would prevail. I am grateful that the Department of Justice has taken the time to reevaluate its case and come to the appropriate conclusion,” Menendez said in a statement. “I thank God for hearing my prayers and for giving me strength during this difficult time. I have devoted my life to serving the people of New Jersey, and am forever thankful for all who have stood by me. No matter the challenges ahead, I will never stop fighting for New Jersey and the values we share.”
The first trial of Menendez and Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen ended in a hung jury last November. Menendez was charged with trading his political influence for gifts and campaign donations from Melgen.
Defense lawyers argued during the trial that the gifts, which included a stay at a luxury Paris hotel and trips on Melgen’s private jet to his villa in the Dominican Republic, were an expression of the pair’s longtime friendship and weren’t bribes.
Last week the judge threw out the bribery counts related to Melgen’s campaign donations.
Menendez, a former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who has been in the Senate since 2006, is expected to run for re-election, though he hasn’t officially announced his candidacy.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)