Over a dozen Democrats in the Senate have called for their colleague, Senator Bob Menendez, to resign following the unsealing of a federal indictment in court last Friday. This indictment, which charged Menendez, his wife Nadine, and three businessmen with participating in a bribery scheme, has sparked widespread outrage and demands for the New Jersey senator to step down.
Among those calling for Menendez to resign is his fellow colleague from New Jersey, Senator Cory Booker. In a statement released on Tuesday, Booker urged Menendez to leave his position, stating that it is a sacrifice that comes with public office. "Stepping down is not an admission of guilt but an acknowledgment that holding public office often demands tremendous sacrifices at great personal cost," Booker stated. "Senator Menendez has made these sacrifices in the past to serve. And in this case, he must do so again. I believe stepping down is best for those Senator Menendez has spent his life serving."
Booker's statement was supported by 13 other Senate Democrats, including Senators Bennett, Fetterman, Kelly, Brown, Welch, Baldwin, Tester, Casey, Klobuchar, Rosen, Heinrich, and Warren. Even former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has joined the chorus, telling MSNBC that it would be a good idea for Menendez to resign.
However, the senator remains defiant, stating in a press conference on Monday that he intends to fight the charges and expects to be exonerated. "Those who believe in justice believe in innocence until proven guilty. I intend to continue to fight for the people of New Jersey with the same success I've had for the past five decades," Menendez declared.
At the press conference held at Hudson County Community College in Union City, New Jersey, Menendez also took aim at those calling for his resignation, accusing them of rushing to judgment and targeting him because of his Latino heritage. "This is the same record of success these very same leaders have lauded all along. It is not lost on me how quickly some are rushing to judge a Latino and push him out of his seat. I am not going anywhere," he stated.
The federal indictment against Menendez and the three businessmen alleges that since 2018, they have engaged in a bribery scheme, with the businessmen paying a collective sum of hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for Menendez using his power and influence to protect and enrich them and benefit the government of Egypt. The bribes allegedly included cash, gold, a Mercedes-Benz, and other things of value.
This scandal has put Menendez's political career in jeopardy, with many calling for him to resign and others questioning his ability to effectively serve his constituents while facing such serious charges. However, Menendez remains resolute in his belief of his innocence and his commitment to continue fighting for the people of New Jersey. As the legal process plays out, it remains to be seen how this will impact Menendez's career and the political landscape in New Jersey.