The federal government, which had tried to put NJ Democrat Senator Robert Menendez away for decades by indicting him on fourteen different felony charges, has decided to fold its tent and quietly steal away.
Sen. Bob Menendez could be completely free of criminal charges that have dogged him for more than two years after the Justice Department asked a federal court on Wednesday to drop the indictment against him.
The motion, filed in U.S. District Court in Newark, cited a decision by Judge William Walls last week that acquitted Menendez of three bribery counts tied to $660,000 in campaign contributions provided by his co-defendant, Salomon Melgen.
Walls’ decision came after a jury last year could not reach a verdict and a mistrial was declared. Afterward, 10 of the 12 jurors told reporters they were prepared to acquit the senator because the government had not proved its case.
This marks a third high profile prosecution of a public official that has gone awry because overzealous prosecutors, with no sense of proportion or common sense, decided to make names for themselves by indicting public figures for essentially being public figures. The other two were Ted Stevens and Bob McDonnell.
It was remarkable to see a jury refuse to convict. It was more remarkable to see a judge toss some of the charges. Because in both cases it took moral courage to say to the federal government that there was no crime.
Hopefully, this message will seep out and, if we’re lucky, set into Department of Justice policy so this kind of sporting event among prosecutors comes to a halt.
Does this mean I think Menendez is not a crook and maybe has a taste for young, and I mean young, women? Not at all. This case was simply a prosecutor trying to take a scalp.