Judge tells Menendez jury to 'take as much time as you need'

New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez greets supporters as he arrives to court in Newark N.J. Monday Oct. 16 2017. The judge in Menendez's corruption trial could rule on Monday to dismiss the bulk of the indictment against the New Jersey Democrat

New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez greets supporters as he arrives to court in Newark N.J. Monday Oct. 16 2017. The judge in Menendez's corruption trial could rule on Monday to dismiss the bulk of the indictment against the New Jersey Democrat

The judge at the bribery trial of Senator Robert Menendez told deadlocked jurors that he hoped they had a good night's sleep and urged them to redouble their efforts to reach a verdict. Bob Menendez's federal corruption trial is in no hurry to declare a mistrial. He dismissed the jurors an hour early and told them to come back Tuesday morning and to continue deliberating.

The case is U.S. v. Menendez, 15-cr-00155, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Newark). Melgen faces the same charges except the false statements accusation.

Both men deny the allegations. Defense attorneys have sought to show jurors that the two men are longtime pals who exchanged gifts out of friendship. They also contend Menendez's meetings with government officials were focused on broad policy issues.

The Latest on jury deliberations in the bribery trial of U.S. Sen.

Tuesday was the second full day of deliberations since an alternate juror replaced a member who was excused last week for a pre-planned vacation. The excused juror subsequently spoke to the press and said she believes the panel will end in a hung jury.

Menendez told reporters outside of the courthouse in Newark that he appreciates the jurors who "have been standing up for my innocence" as he has "stood up for New Jerseyans".

Jurors sent a note to Judge William Walls at about 2 p.m. Monday, after deliberating for about two hours.

That prompted Walls to interview the affected jurors one by one in his chambers.

"What I saw in the courtroom was that he was not guilty of all counts; so was Dr. Melgen", Arroyo-Maultsby said on Thursday following her dismissal. She also said most other jurors were favoring acquittal.

Menendez stands accused of using his office to help co-defendant Salomon Melgen, a wealthy Florida eye doctor and longtime friend, to secure visas for his foreign girlfriends and to intervene in a lucrative port security contract in the Dominican Republic and a multimillion-dollar Medicare dispute.

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Arroyo-Maultsby's comments appeared to indicate at least some, and possibly a majority, of the jurors may believe the defense's theory.

"They are friends", Arroyo-Maultsby said. "They are friends. And if my friend, if I was rich and I had a lot of money and if I want to take my friend somewhere, why can't I?"

The 12 jurors weighing corruption charges against Sen.

Menendez said earlier this month he was convinced he'd be exonerated. "If I'm the prosecution, that's hard to hear".

A hung jury would punctuate the trial with a massive question mark and require the government to decide whether to try the case over again.

Deliberations resume Monday with an alternate taking Arroyo-Maultsby's place.

Walls sided with the prosecution. Walls asked them to provide him with case law to support their argument.

Jurors in the bribery trial of U.S. Sen. Bob McDonnell. That ruling played a significant role in how the jury was instructed in the Menendez trial.

Neither side commented on Arroyo-Maultsby's comments Friday.

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