Senator Bob Menendez, a prominent Democratic figure from New Jersey, is facing mounting pressure from both Democratic and Republican colleagues to resign from his Senate seat. This comes in the wake of a sprawling indictment that alleges Menendez accepted bribes and engaged in corrupt activities while leveraging his position in public office.
Despite the growing chorus of calls for his resignation, Senator Menendez remains resolute and defiant, vehemently denying the allegations laid out in the indictment. In a statement, he declared, “I am not going anywhere.” His unwavering stance has prompted Democratic Representative Andy Kim of New Jersey to announce a primary challenge against Menendez, citing the need for better representation and integrity in the Senate.
A significant portion of New Jersey’s Democratic House delegation has publicly urged Menendez to step down, emphasizing the gravity of the allegations. Representatives including Donald Norcross, Josh Gottheimer, Frank Pallone, Bill Pascrell, and Mikie Sherrill have all called on Menendez to reconsider his position. Sherrill emphasized the seriousness of the allegations, stating, “These are serious allegations against Senator Menendez, and if proven true, there is no room for this kind of conduct in public service.” Gottheimer expressed his belief that, given the gravity of the charges, it would be challenging for Menendez to effectively carry out his responsibilities.
Even on the state level, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has called for Menendez’s resignation, asserting that the alleged facts are so serious that they compromise Menendez’s ability to represent the state effectively.
In an unusual display of bipartisan unity, Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has also voiced his belief that Senator Menendez should step down. Former New Jersey Governor and Republican presidential hopeful Chris Christie described the indictment against Menendez as “sickening” and called for his resignation.
The indictment itself paints a damning picture, alleging that Menendez and his wife, Nadine Arslanian Menendez, accepted bribes that included cash, gold, mortgage payments, and even a Mercedes-Benz in exchange for favoring the Egyptian government. Notably, investigators discovered $480,000 in cash hidden away, some of it concealed in jackets bearing Menendez’s name and the U.S. Senate seal. Additionally, more than $100,000 in gold bars were found in Menendez’s residence.
The indictment further alleges that Menendez interfered with a New Jersey attorney general’s investigation involving a relative of a local businessman, who is a co-defendant in the case. Menendez is also charged with attempting to influence the federal prosecution of another New Jersey businessman, another co-defendant. In return for Menendez’s assistance, these businessmen allegedly provided mortgage payments for Nadine Menendez’s home and gifted her a Mercedes-Benz convertible.
Curiously, Menendez’s fellow Democratic Senator from New Jersey, Cory Booker, has yet to comment on the charges. The only senator to call for Menendez’s resignation thus far is Senator John Fetterman of Pennsylvania, who stated, “Senator Menendez should resign…I hope he chooses an honorable exit and focuses on his trial.”
Today, Democrat Senator Bob Menendez was charged with bribery in a sweeping indictment.
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) September 22, 2023