On Tuesday, jurors went home for the day unable to reach a verdict in the bribery and corruption trial against Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez, of New Jersey, who is a Democrat. Deliberations resume today for the sixth day.
Democrat Menendez is accused of a whole slew of illicit things. Here’s a summary from Fox News.
Menendez, 63, accepted an abundance of campaign donations, gifts and vacations from Salomon Melgen, a Florida ophthalmologist. In return, he used his position to lobby on behalf of Melgen’s business interests, according to prosecutors.
Melgen allegedly directed more than $750,000 in campaign contributions to entities that supported Menendez, according to the indictment, which prosecutors said were inducements to get Menendez to use his influence on Melgen’s behalf. Prosecutors have also accused Menendez of trying to hide the gifts.
Melgen paid for Menendez and his girlfriend to stay for three nights at a Parisian hotel where rooms typically cost about $1,500 per night and allowed the senator the use of his private jet, according to prosecutors.
Federal prosecutors said that Menendez “sold his office for a lifestyle that he couldn’t afford.”
The indictment also alleged that Menendez pressured State Department officials to give visas to three young women described as Melgen’s girlfriends.
Democrat Menendez is pleading not guilty and maintains that he is innocent.
On Tuesday morning, after the jury told the judge they were deadlocked, he read a letter to them instructing them to continue.
“Do not hesitate to reexamine your own views, and change your opinion, if convinced it is erroneous,” he said. “But do not surrender your honest conviction as to the weight or effect of evidence solely because of the opinion of your fellow jurors, or for the mere purpose of reaching a verdict.”
Jurors may get new instructions today, including instructions that they can return a verdict on some counts but not others.
So far the Senator, a Democrat, has not been asked to resign.