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Menendez bribery trial ends with a hung jury
The New Jersey democratic senator says he will not forget the people that went after him during his Federal corruption investigations and court proceedings; David Lee Miller reports for ” Special report.’
Embattled sen. Bob Menendez, as the top Democrat on the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, after his departure from the post-2015 in the midst of accusations of corruption.
“I am honored to resume my position as a high-ranking member of the foreign Affairs Committee of the Senate,” Menendez said in a written statement on Tuesday. “Now, more than ever, it is crucial that the United States remains fully engaged around the world, and that we the project to the principles of our democratic ideals, how to encounter the threats and the requirements we face under the Trump administration.”
Fox News reported on Tuesday that Menendez was expected the official to return to as ” the Committee “senior member”, announced this week. Shortly thereafter, his office said in a statement, said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had the two-term senator from the state of New Jersey to the role.
The movement encouraged, with a game room from Republicans even before it was announced.
“By picking the least popular member of the U.S. Senate, which is still under a serious ethics investigation, Chuck Schumer, shows how out-of-touch” he is,” Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Ahrens Fox News said. “Schumer’s own far-left base against the move, and Menendez’s own constituents do not even want him in the Senate.”
Apart from an ongoing Senate ethics-Commission probe, the legal cloud over Menendez seems to lift. But he is still with the political headwinds in his bid this year for a third Senate term and his return to the Committee post.
Menendez’s net approval rating among registered voters, 20 points, since the start in the year 2017 — the biggest decline of a senator by the year 2018, the re-election, according to a recent Morning Consult poll is based on a survey from October to December, 2017. liked
“New Jersey voters will continue to be reminded of it, Menendez is dishonest schemes such as the choice approaches, which said in November,” National Republican Senate Committee spokesman Bob Salera recently.
In the case of return to his post on the foreign relations committee, Menendez would set aside the Maryland democratic sen. Ben Cardin occupy the ranking-member post in his absence. The liberal wing of the Democratic party, though, has expressed the concern about Menendez, considering he is considered more moderate than Cardin.
Menendez, the son of Cuban immigrants, does not support former President Barack Obama’s efforts to improve diplomatic relations with the Cuban government or of the Iran nuclear deal, under the leadership of the Obama administration.
But in his statement on Tuesday, Menendez the usual shots took on the Trump administration.
“Since the President his office in trump began, I have expressed consistently my deep concern about some of the pressing issues of foreign policy, including his refusal to counter Russia’s aggression, and coordinated interference in democratic systems and elections around the world, a seemingly blatant disregard for standing up for basic human rights and respect for fundamental freedoms for all people around the globe, and the complete lack of a comprehensive strategy against Iran, the continued destabilizing activities,” he said.
Prosecutors decided two weeks ago not Menendez repeat on corruption charges, which ended after their case last fall in a hung jury.
Menendez, 64, was convicted of trading his political influence for gifts and campaign donations from a Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen. He best ride of the allegations all.
The prosecutors decision ended Menendez and Melgen ‘ s 11-week study and its roughly five-year investigation.
“From the beginning, I never wavered in my innocence and my faith, the dignity of justice, Lord,” Menendez said after the public Prosecutor dropped the case. “I am grateful that the Department of Justice has taken the time to re-evaluate your case and comes to the result.”
But the senator also gave a warning last year for those who were eager to replace him in the Senate.
“To those who dig my political grave, so that she could jump in my seat, I know who you are and I will not forget you,” he said after the mistrial.
Menendez is expected to retain the ranking member of the staff, he returns back to the Committee role.
While the case is abated Menendez has the poll numbers, he still seems to be the full support of the top New Jersey Democrats, including Gov. Phil Murphy. Further, the state has not elected a Republican senator since the 1970s. Menendez in 2012, won a second term in office by nearly 20 points.
Prosecutors will pursue a retrial for Menendez, but they gave the case after the judge threw the corruption charges, donate to the campaign.
Melgen was sentenced separately in Florida last spring in a Medicare-fraud case, prosecutors said, amounted to more than $100 million.
They were first arraigned in 2015, accused, for the operation of a System, in which Menendez and his force in exchange for trips on Melgen’s private jet to his Dominican resort, a Paris vacation, and more.
Prosecutors said set of Menendez under pressure, government officials on Melgen’s behalf a Medicare-billing dispute and a contract for port-screening equipment, and also contributed to the US-visas for medical friends.
The senator’s lawyers argued Melgen’s gifts were a sign of friendship, not bribes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.