Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) Thursday called on the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez after his trial for corruption ended in a mistrial this week.
“Senator Menendez was indicted on numerous federal felonies. He is one of only twelve U.S. Senators to have been indicted in our history,” McConnell said in a statement. “His trial shed light on serious accusations of violating the public’s trust as an elected official, as well as potential violations of the Senate’s Code of Conduct.”
The judge in the trial declared a mistrial after jurors were unable to agree on a verdict. Menendez was accused of lobbying on behalf of a wealthy benefactor’s political interests in exchange for lavish gifts and hundreds of thousands in campaign donations.
“Because of the seriousness of these charges, I am calling on the Senate Ethics committee to immediately investigate Senator Menendez’s actions which led to his indictment,” McConnell said.
Menendez is up for re-election next year, and his political career would have been doomed if he had been found guilty. A guilty verdict would also have given outgoing Republican Gov. Chris Christie a chance to appoint a Republican to the blue seat.
Federal prosecutors are expected to review the details of the trial to see if Menendez should be retried.
On Thursday McConnell also called for an ethics probe into allegations of sexual assault against Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) after a journalist accused Franken of forcibly kissing her and groping her when she was asleep in 2006.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.