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US Drops Corruption Case Against New Jersey Senator

FILE - U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez waves at reporters before entering the federal courthouse in Newark, N.J., for his corruption trial, Nov. 16, 2017. The trial ended in a deadlocked jury; it was announced Jan. 31, 2018, that the government had dropped its case against the senator.

The U.S. government on Wednesday dropped its corruption case against New Jersey Democratic Senator Bob Menendez.

Prosecutors decided not to retry him, months after his first trial ended with a deadlocked jury.

A judge last week threw out some of the bribery charges against Menendez, saying prosecutors had failed to prove their case.

It was unclear why U.S. attorneys decided to abandon the case, but their decision pleased the senator.

"From the very beginning, I never wavered in my innocence and my belief that justice would prevail," Menendez said. "I am grateful that the Department of Justice has taken the time to re-evaluate its case and come to the appropriate conclusion."

Menendez was charged with accepting gifts and campaign contributions from a wealthy Florida eye doctor in exchange for political favors.

The defense argued Menendez and the doctor are longtime friends and are "as close as brothers."

Menendez is the son of Cuban immigrants and is widely expected to run for re-election this year.