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BY: Paul Crookston
Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) on Thursday challenged the Department of Justice to either prosecute him again on corruption charges or drop its case.
Menendez - Interview - Ability - Motion - Department
Menendez said in an interview that he has the ability to present a motion calling on the department to prosecute or dismiss the charges by mid-January, the Associated Press reports. Menendez was tried in a New Jersey federal court this September for corruption charges, including bribery, involving his relationship with florida doctor Salomon Melgen. The jury, however, was not able to come to a decision, forcing the judge to declare a mistrial and giving Menendez the opportunity to claim vindication.
"We would have the ability to present a motion to say prosecute or dismiss," Menendez said about the department’s charges. "And if you want to prosecute, bring it on."
Menendez - Fact - Ten - Twelve - Jurors
Menendez argued the fact ten of the twelve jurors did not believe the prosecutors’ case means "the end" of the federal case against him.
"They didn't believe in the facts; they had some really harsh words for the government," Menendez said about the jurors. "You can have a hung jury that's 10-2 against you and two people just couldn't agree, but when it's 10-2 for you—and it's not just the numbers, it's what they said about the government's case—I believe that's the end of it."
Menendez - Relationship - Melgen - Family
Menendez added that he still maintains a close relationship with Melgen and his family.
"I still have the greatest affection for them, and I wish him well," he said.
Menendez - Committee - Position - Senate - Charges
Menendez also said he expects to be restored to his committee position in the Senate once he is totally cleared of charges.
He said he "fully expects" to go back to being the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The New Jersey Democrat also declared he has "a commitment from the leadership" it will happen.
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