The text belongs to: The Hill.
A judge on Wednesday dismissed seven charges in the corruption case again Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and his co-defendant, according to a court filing.
Judge William Walls struck down charges dealing with accusations of bribery involving political donations that Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen made to Menendez. Four of the seven dismissed charges applied to Menendez, according to a court filing.
Menendez still faces nine counts, including charges of bribery, fraud and lying on Senate disclosure forms. The Justice Department announced last week it intends to retry Menendez after a deadlocked jury led to a mistrial in November.
Walls will not preside over a new trial, Politico reported.
“With the court’s decision, this case is now solely about the purest of personal hospitality allegations — stays at his friend, Dr. Melgen’s family home and reimbursed trips on a plane that Dr. Melgen was flying anyway,” Menendez’s lawyer Abbe Lowell said in a statement.
“A jury rejected the government’s facts and theory of bribery, and now the trial judge has rejected a critical legal theory on which the case was brought,” Lowell continued. “The decision of the DOJ to retry the case makes even less sense than it did last week and we hope it would be reconsidered.”
Prosecutors have argued that Menendez provided political favors for Melgen in exchange for campaign donations and other perks, including trips on the doctor’s private jets and stays in luxury hotels. Several counts related to those allegations remain intact after Walls’s ruling on Wednesday.
Menendez will also still face the charge that he purposefully filed misleading financial disclosure statements.
After more than a week of deliberations in November, jurors notified Walls that they were unable to reach a unanimous decision, resulting in a mistrial.
Menendez hailed the decision as a victory.
The New Jersey senator is up for reelection this November. He is expected to seek another term, but has not yet formally announced his plans.
Source: The Washington Post.