Menendez Verdict

Mistrial:

The federal corruption trial of New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez ended in a mistrial Thursday after the jury reported it was hopelessly deadlocked.

The mistrial is a blow to the Justice Department, which has been investigating Menendez for nearly five years, and will be a sigh of relief to Democrats worried about possibly losing his Senate seat to Republicans.
Menendez said he felt vindicated.

“I want to thank the jury, 12 New Jerseyans who saw through the government’s false claims and used their Jersey common sense to reject it,” he told reporters outside the courthouse before blasting the Justice Department.

“The way this case started was wrong, the way it was investigated was wrong, the way it was prosecuted was wrong, and the way it was tried was wrong as well,” he said. “Certain elements of the FBI and of our state cannot understand or, even worse, accept that the Latino kid from Union City and Hudson County can grow up and be a US senator and be honest.”

Menendez also had harsh words for those who predicted his political doom.

“To those who were digging my political grave so that they could jump into my seat, I know who you are, and I won’t forget you,” he said.

This was expected, given that one of the jurors quit to go on vacation (did not know you could do that, btw- “Sure, I’ll serve on the jury, but if it goes past this date, piss off I’m hitting the beach?”) and told everyone that there was no way he was going to be convicted. So now I guess it is up to Sessions as to whether he will proceed with another trial, right?






38 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    As I said in the earlier post, at least this ensures that if there is a retrial and conviction, there’s no question that the new Dem governor will be able to fill the seat.

    FWIW, I initially believed him guilty based on reporting, but reading up on what the Supreme Court has required in order to prove quid pro quo, I’m not so sure.

  2. 2
    rikyrah says:

    I didn’t see this coming. I thought he’d be going to Club Fed and his orange jumpsuit.

  3. 3
    JMG says:

    It’s up to the US Attorney’s office that prosecuted the vase whether or not to retry. If it really was 10-2 for acquittal as one juror said, I would be mildly surprised if there was a retrial.

  4. 4
    Barbara says:

    @Baud: I think that’s the issue. The Supreme Court has made it harder to show a quid pro quo by narrowing the definition of an official act. They did that in overturning the conviction of Bob McDonnell. I honestly think that being a sitting senator is such an honor and a privilege that they ought to simply outlaw the receipt of gifts worth more than $50 from anyone who isn’t a family member. If you are really bothered by how that crimps your personal style, well hello resign — and if upon resignation, the gifts stop, well, you know, maybe you weren’t such good friends after all.

  5. 5
    Baud says:

    @Barbara: I’m not sure about the details, but I agree that rules need to be tightened.

  6. 6
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: @Barbara: Is there some reason that Rod B. governor from IL is still serving time, then?

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    @WaterGirl: They caught him on tape literally asking for money for Obama’s Senate seat.

  8. 8

    @Barbara: I’m surprised they’re allowed to accept anything. Mr IOL worked for a private company and when he interacted with outsiders, he was allowed to accept only what he could consume on the spot.

  9. 9
    Ric Drywall says:

    Was Leslie Abramson his attorney?

  10. 10
    MattF says:

    @JMG: 10-2 is bad news for the prosecution. But Justice is politicized these days, so we shall see.

  11. 11
    Roger Moore says:

    @Barbara:
    The problem is that very few of our Senators and Representatives really want to shut off the spigot. They like having people court them with all kinds of goodies, and most of them genuinely believe they can take all that stuff and not have it affect their judgment. It’s going to be a very steep uphill battle to get them to do anything that crimps their collective style, even as they tut-tut when one of them gets caught in particularly egregious behavior.

  12. 12
    Mai.naem.mobile says:

    I do hope the Dems convince Menendez to resign when the new governor comes in. Unless the GOP nominates Chris Christie to run against him.

  13. 13

    Cole@OP:

    given that one of the jurors quit to go on vacation (did not know you could do that, btw

    During the questioning of the jurors, you’re asked about availability. So if you say you have a planned vacation in 3 weeks(such as a non-refundable cruise or plane tickets) the judge will either dismiss you or say that you’ll serve since the trial will be over before your vacation. If the case goes over the time the judge thought it would(as it did in this case), you’ll be allowed to leave and an alternate will replace you.

  14. 14
    Baud says:

    @Mai.naem.mobile: I would like to see him primaried. If he’s not convicted, however, I don’t see how or why they’ll get him to resign.

  15. 15
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: I guess I missed that part!

  16. 16
    Roger Moore says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady):

    Mr IOL worked for a private company and when he interacted with outsiders, he was allowed to accept only what he could consume on the spot.

    We have a rule that’s roughly that tight at my workplace. We’re allowed to accept things of nominal value, like a t-shirt or coffee mug- as well as “ordinary business courtesies”, like a meal. Even those are required to be of appropriate scale, so a particularly lavish event could violate the rule.

  17. 17
    catclub says:

    who was it who had something bad revealed the same day that Michael Jackson died? This reminds me of that.

  18. 18
    Humdog says:

    Menendez’s seat Is up for election in 2018. I hope he gets primaries and the national Dems stay out of it.

  19. 19
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Barbara: Haven’t followed the Menendez trial closely, but I was astonished by the SCOTUS decision on McDonnell, who was obviously as crooked as a dog’s hind leg. Those rules need to be overhauled pronto.

  20. 20
    catclub says:

    @JMG:

    If it really was 10-2 for acquittal as one juror said, I would be mildly surprised if there was a retrial.

    now if it is a black guy on trial for rape, and the prosecutors have been withholding evidence in the defendants favor, you can bet they will try again and again and again.

    Trump will probably tweet that they should try him until they get a conviction. It is only fair considering he is a Democrat.

  21. 21
    John Revolta says:

    “To those who were digging my political grave so that they could jump into my seat, I know who you are, and I won’t forget you,” he said.

    Joisey! Fuckin-A!

  22. 22

    Who could forget this?

    Senator Menendez juror asks trial judge a question: "What's a Senator?" https://t.co/Y8jqsAp6OC— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) November 7, 2017

  23. 23
    Baud says:

    @John Revolta: That’s the type of attitude that got Chris Christie elected, much to Joisey’s detriment.

  24. 24
    frosty says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): I had an engineering prof who gave one of his lectures on ethics.

    He asked the class what was an acceptable limit on gifts. I gave him my Purchasing Agent’s limit of $5.00. His limit? “No gratuities!”

    Can’t go wrong with that approach.

  25. 25
    Mai.naem.mobile says:

    @Baud: I forgot he’s running in 2018. A primary would be fine.

  26. 26
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I fucking hate this neocon fuck. Is there any Dem in Jersey who can take a run at him who has never been indicted or had a key to the executive crapper at Goldman Sachs? Not that I’m picky about the latter, myself, I just don’t fucking want to hear it anymore.

    Twitter has been hinting that Torricelli wants to make a comeback, but I don’t know if that’s well sourced, or if people are just assuming that since he still has a pulse… (which I for some reason thought he had ceased to do)

  27. 27
    WaterGirl says:

    5 things we could be talking about (from Steve Benen’s Thursday’s Mini-Report, 11.16.17)

    #1
    * Trump-Russia: “President Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner received and forwarded emails about WikiLeaks and a ‘Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite’ that he kept from Senate Judiciary Committee investigators, according to panel leaders demanding that he produce the missing records.”

    #2
    * EPA: “Two Republican senators have announced they oppose President Donald Trump’s controversial pick to become the nation’s top regulator of toxic chemicals, putting his nomination in serious jeopardy. Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, both of North Carolina, said Wednesday they could not support Michael Dourson to lead the Environmental Protection Agency’s office of chemical safety, citing concerns about his record.”

    #3
    * I hope you’re following this: “Sinclair Broadcasting, which could soon own more U.S. television stations than any other company, has a plan to create a near-national network of local stations delivering the news with a conservative bent. And thanks to some help from federal officials, that plan is inching closer to reality.”

    #4
    * A painful story to read: “Ohio called off the execution of an ailing 69-year-old killer Wednesday after the executioners couldn’t find a vein to insert the IV that delivers the lethal drugs. It was only the third time in modern U.S. history that an execution attempt was halted after the process had begun.”

    #5
    * This one isn’t over just yet: “A federal appeals court heard arguments Wednesday about whether to upend a $25 million deal President-elect Donald Trump agreed to last year to settle long-running federal lawsuits over alleged fraud in his Trump University real estate seminar program.”

  28. 28
    Mai.naem.mobile says:

    @WaterGirl: Re: Sinclair – Ajit Pai is going to come back as a gnat in his next life. Worthless being who will have to go through 150 lifetimes to come back as a human being. Asshole.

  29. 29
    John Revolta says:

    @Baud: BAUD 2020!- He knows where you live!

  30. 30
    WaterGirl says:

    @Mai.naem.mobile: That would work for me! But we don’t get a vote, do we?

  31. 31
    Shana says:

    @catclub: I don’t know, but Calvin Trillin’s wife Alice died of cancer on 9/11. Not surprised that slipped through.

  32. 32
    LosGatosCA says:

    @WaterGirl:

    His lawyer is from Illinois?

  33. 33
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @catclub:

    Farrah Fawcett died the same day MJ did.

  34. 34
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Shana:

    Yes, and both Aldous Huxley and C. S. Lewis died on 11/22/63.

  35. 35
    Jumbo76 says:

    “Jersey common sense” — sure, he’s on the take, that’s why he got elected!

  36. 36
    JGabriel says:

    @JMG:

    If it really was 10-2 for acquittal as one juror said, I would be mildly surprised if there was a retrial.

    10-2 for acquittal sounds about right to me. I suspected the hold in coming to a decision might be because there were a few (between 1-4) RWAA’s (Right Wing Authoritarian Assholes) who got through voir dire, hate Democrats, and who would declare Menendez Guilty even if a shining halo floated over his head.

    So, 10-2 for acquittal sounds about right.

  37. 37
    Captain C says:

    @Mai.naem.mobile:

    Worthless being who will have to go through 150 lifetimes to come back as a human being.

    If we make that the over-under, I’m betting the over.

  38. 38
    randy khan says:

    It would be unusual for a prosecutor to retry a case that was 10-2 for acquittal (really 11-2, if you count the dismissed juror). Not unheard of, but given the constraints imposed by the McDonnell decision, it would seem like a bad idea. It’s also worth noting that Menendez was indicted before the McDonnell decision, which may have played into the decision to go ahead with the trial.

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