A juror who was dismissed from the corruption trial of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) celebrated at his victory party after he won his re-election bid Tuesday night.
In 2017, Menendez was indicted on corruption charges. He was accused of accepting gifts including extravagant hotel rooms, rides in a private jet, and $600,000, from a lobbyist friend, Salomon Melgen, in return for political favors. These gifts allegedly started in 2006, the year Menendez was first elected, and the favors included helping Melgen’s mistresses obtain visas.
Menendez escaped these indictments when the judge declared a mistrial in November 2017. Two jurors had doubted his innocence while the rest had been ready to clear him.
One juror, Evelyn Arroyo-Maultsby, asked to be dismissed as the trial dragged on, so that she could go on a pre-planned vacation. The judge had agreed to these terms before the trial started, and dismissed her. After being dismissed she told reporters “if I would have been there all the way to the end, it would have been not guilty."
After a surprisingly close battle against Republican Bob Hugin, Menendez was re-elected to a third term Tuesday.
What happened next?
The Record reported that Arroyo-Maultsby showed up on election night at Menendez's victory party in Hoboken, sporting a “Bob Menendez United States Senator 2018” T-shirt which she showed off to their news team. She said that she had gotten the shirt at a rally in October.
“I came out here tonight because I know that Bob Menendez is a very good man. And I was in the courtroom, and I saw all the evidence — that they didn't have enough evidence [of] what he did wrong. He did nothing wrong. He's a great man. And that's why I'm supporting Menendez. I voted for him. I voted blue. See?” she said, showing off her shirt.
“I never really knew anything about him before the trial,” she insisted, saying that she couldn't even remember if she voted for him in 2012. “He’s a good man. I was in that jury room and I know he didn’t do anything wrong.”