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NEWARK, N.J. — Jurors in the bribery trial of New Jersey U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez have sent the judge a note saying they “can’t reach a unanimous verdict on any of the charges.”
The judge has excused the jurors for the day and told them to return Tuesday to continue deliberating.
The prosecution on Monday urged the judge to send the jurors back to deliberations. The judge had said he felt that was appropriate.
Prosecutors say the Democratic senator took gifts from a wealthy Florida donor between 2006 and 2013 in exchange for political influence. The donor also is on trial.
Menendez and the donor have denied any bribery arrangement and say gifts including flights on the donor’s private jet and a luxury hotel stay in Paris were an outgrowth of their longtime friendship.
A dismissed juror told reporters last Thursday that she anticipated a hung jury and that she and others would have voted for acquitting the Democratic senator on all counts. She also said some jurors told her that her vote “didn’t count” because she had to leave for a previously scheduled vacation.
The judge questioned the jurors who said they were aware of the comments, then ordered the jury to restart deliberations with an alternate in place of the dismissed juror.
The judge downplayed defense concerns that the comments could have contaminated the deliberations.
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