US prosecutors drop corruption case against Sen. Bob Menendez
Sen. Bob Menendez (CNN : Screengrab)

The U.S. Justice Department is dropping corruption charges against Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, according to a court filing on Wednesday, just days after the trial judge weakened the case by throwing out several counts.

Menendez, a Democrat who is expected to seek reelection this year, was accused of accepting gifts from a wealthy benefactor in exchange for official favors. His first criminal trial last year ended in a mistrial after a jury could not come to a unanimous verdict, and federal prosecutors said earlier this month they would seek to retry him.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax, editing by G Crosse)