Excused Menendez juror: ‘I don’t think he did anything wrong’
A juror, who was excused from the bribery trial of Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), said Thursday she would have found the New Jersey lawmaker “not guilty on every charge” if she had remained on the jury.
“I feel like the government was very corrupted, not that Menendez was. That they were, to me, railroading him. This is how I feel. Personally, he’s not guilty on all counts,” Evelyn Arroyo-Maultsby said, according to Politico.
“I don’t think he did anything wrong,” she added at the end of the jury’s third day of deliberations.
U.S. District Judge William Walls had promised Arroyo-Maultsby earlier in the trial process that she could go on a trip to the Bahamas that she had planned before the trial began. The judge was not expecting the months-long trial to last as long as it has, according to the report.
Arroyo-Maultsby also claims the trial is likely to end in a hung jury, as those sitting on it disagree about the case. Some of the jurors believe he is guilty and some believe he is innocent, she said.
“Everybody’s not agreeing. Yes, there’s trouble in the jury room.”
“If I would have stayed, he would have been not guilty on every charge,” she added.
Walls has appointed a female alternate to replace Arroyo-Maultsby, Politico reported.
Menendez is accused of helping the business interests of Salomon Melgen, a Florida eye doctor who is also on trial, in exchange for lavish gifts and hefty campaign contributions.
Prosecutors argue that the he acted like Melgen’s “personal senator” and that the two men’s arrangement began in 2006 and lasted until 2013.
Menendez and Melgen have denied the allegations, describing the gift exchanges as a result of their two-decade-long friendship.
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