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'I look forward to going back to Washington and fighting for the people of New Jersey.'Before getting in his car, he told reporters: 'I leave here today in the same way that I walked in, innocent.'A spokeswoman for the Justice Department said that it appreciates the service of the jury, which told a judge it was deadlocked Thursday before he declared a mistrial.

Juror Edward Norris says that 10 of the 12 jurors wanted to acquit Menendez, while two were holding out for a conviction.

Federal Courthouse after US District Judge William Walls declared a mistrial in Menendez's federal corruption trial on Thursday in Newark Fighting tears, he thanked his attorneys and his supporters, including fellow New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and Senator Lindsey Graham.

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He has chaired the Foreign Relations Committee and was a major player in the unsuccessful bipartisan 'Gang of Eight' effort to overhaul the nation's immigration laws in 2013.

More recently, he drew the ire of some fellow Democrats when he opposed President Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran and efforts to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Prosecutors said Menendez pressured government officials on Melgen's behalf over an $8.9million Medicare billing dispute and a stalled contract to provide port screening equipment in the Dominican Republic, and also helped obtain US visas for the doctor's girlfriends.

The defense argued that the gifts were not bribes but tokens of friendship between two men who were 'like brothers.' In Menendez attorney Abbe Lowell's closing argument, he used the words 'friend,' ''friends' or 'friendship' more than 80 times.

He also thanked those that helped him raise millions for his legal defense fund.