An emotional Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) spoke outside a Newark courthouse Thursday afternoon after the jury failed to reach a verdict in his bribery and corruption trial. 

"There’s no alternative to declaring a mistrial,” U.S. District Court Judge William Walls said Thursday afternoon after the 12-person jury said for a second time they were hopelessly deadlocked.

Menendez praised the jury for seeing through the "government's false claims" and applying "Jersey common sense" to the case.

The senator, who's served since 2005, choked up when he spoke of his family, particularly his granddaughter, Evangelina. 

He personally thanked Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) for testifying on his behalf in the trial despite those who urged him not to do so for political reasons.

Menendez also applauded Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) for using "political capital" by testifying on his behalf.

"That is rare indeed in today's politics," he noted.

Menendez was accused of greasing the wheels for Salomon Melgen, a Florida ophthalmologist, FoxNews.com reported.

Menendez was accused of helping obtain visas for several of Melgen’s girlfriends as well as lobby the State Department on his behalf regarding a $500 million port security contract in the Dominican Republic.

Melgen, in turn, paid for private jets, hotel rooms and forked over nearly $75,000 in campaign contributions to Menendez.

Menendez blasted the Justice Department and the FBI, calling the entire handling of the case "wrong."

He spoke of numerous people who told him about being approached by FBI agents who asked them "what can you give us on Menendez?"

"That is not what the FBI and the Department of Justice is supposed to be doing," he said, also blasting FBI leaks to the press "which violated [his] right to a fair process."

"I've made my share of mistakes, but my mistakes were never a crime," said Menendez.

Watch the remarks above.


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