The difference between an "honest gift" and the manipulation of political interests seems to have a very weak border.
This was demonstrated by the inability of a jury of 7 women and 5 men to reach a decision regarding the conduct of Senator Bob Menéndez (D-New Jersey) in front of the "gentile" gifts of his colleagues.
After hours of deliberation, and pressure from Judge William Walls, the jurors insisted for the second time last Thursday that the decision remained stalled, CNN reported.
Menendez was charged in 2015 with eight charges of bribery, the result of an investigation carried out by the Justice Department for two years, which determined the exchange of political favors and luxury gifts between the senator and Dr. Salomon E. Melgen. Florida.
Melgen was found guilty (in Spanish) in April for manipulating the health system in his state to steal up to $ 105 million, and his relationship with Senator Menendez was based on campaign donations. As reported by the New York Times, Menendez was also accused of conspiracy and false testimony.
The trial was scheduled for the first week of September and now - 10 weeks later and after 57 witnesses and hundreds of evidence - the prosecution has not yet determined the steps to follow.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell immediately called on the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate the allegations against Menendez, something that had been postponed in 2013 to make way for judicial proceedings, Reuters explained.
For the moment, the mistrial gives Menendez a temporary measure of relief, which leaves the Republicans with the desire to seize another seat in the Senate.