Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) resisted calls to step down after he was indicted on sweeping corruption charges last week. The senator’s status in the Congressional chamber could have major implications for its future, whether he steps down or not.
Menendez and his wife were indicted on charges related to aiding the Egyptian government and allegedly selling influence.
The senator was accused of receiving a luxury vehicle and gold bars. Investigators found approximately $500,000 in hidden cash.
Despite the accusations, Menendez refused to step down. He said that 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.”
“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,” Menendez said in a statement.
Menendez was indicted for bribery and fraud in 2015, too, which resulted in a hung jury. The Senate Ethics Committee admonished him in April 2018 for violating Federal law and Senate rules. He then won the Democratic primary in June 2018 with 62.3% of the vote. https://t.co/Idutx5Cj7A
— Damin Toell (@damintoell) September 23, 2023
So far, Menendez has resisted calls from both sides of the aisle calling for his resignation.
Menendez has courted controversy in the past. He was accused of corruption in a 2015 indictment. The senator was accused of peddling influence to a friend and donor. He was indicted on charges of bribery, fraud and making false statements.
According to the federal government, Menendez used his influence to pressure the State Department to try to steer a contract in the Dominican Republic toward his friend. This allegedly occurred while his friend promised to donate $60,000 to the senator’s campaign. Menendez was also accused of helping procure visas for several of the donor’s girlfriends and accepted gifts such as a trip to a resort, flights on a private jet and a hotel stay at a fancy Paris hotel.
The prosecution believed that these gifts were tied to $750,000 in campaign donations. After a hung jury, the Department of Justice (DOJ) dropped the charges.