A federal judge presiding over New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez’ bribery case has officially declared a mistrial, releasing jurors after they failed twice to reach a unanimous decision over the liberal legislator’s prosecution, reports Fox News.
“There’s no alternative to declaring a mistrial,” U.S. District Court Judge William Walls said Thursday.
The judge’s decision comes hours after jurors notified the court they were at an impasse, with both sides digging and neither believing they could be convinced otherwise.
“I think we have a for-real hung jury,” said Menendez’ attorney Abbe Lowell.
It remains unclear if federal prosecutors will re-file paperwork and bring another trial before a new jury, citing escalating costs and no guarantee that a future case would yield a conviction of the liberal Senator.
Menendez was accused of bribery, securing visas for foreign visitors, flying in private jets on donation funds, and accepting tens of thousands of dollars in questionable finances.
Should the Democratic lawmaker decide to step-down, outgoing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will appoint his successor.