Bob Menendez: More Senate Democrats Call for New Jersey Colleague to Resign

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New Jersey Sens. Corey Booker, left, and Bob Menendez


Washington
CNN

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker met with fellow Democrat Chen on Tuesday. Bob MenendezHis longtime Garden State colleague is expected to resign next A federal indictment accused him of corruption-related offences.

Calling the allegations against Menendez “hard to reconcile with the person I know,” Booker joins a chorus of Senate Democrats, facing several tough re-election races next year, urging the senator to step down.

But Booker’s decision to break away from Menendez will be especially painful — a personally damaging political blow to a longtime senator whose list of allies in both Washington and his home state is suddenly rallying against Menendez.

The charges against Menendez, who is up for re-election next year, come at a difficult time Narrow Senate Democratic MajorityIt faces an uphill battle to retain control of the chamber in 2024. Although New Jersey is a reliably blue state nationally, the government is Democratic. Bill Murphy won Second installment in 2021 Just 3 points, giving Republicans some reason for hope — especially if Menendez is on the ballot under indictment.

Senate Democratic leadership has taken a wait-and-see approach with Menendez, with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer not urging his colleague to move until Tuesday afternoon. Booker’s announcement could open the floodgates to internal party discontent.

“Senator Menendez is again facing a federal indictment that contains shocking allegations of corruption and specific, disturbing misrepresentations,” Booker said in a statement Tuesday, referring to a previous case that Menendez ultimately won.

“I believe it is in the best interest of Senator Menendez to step down for those he has spent his life serving,” Booker concluded.

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Booker broke his silence after similar calls from rank-and-file Democrats, including Wisconsin’s Tommy Baldwin, Nevada’s Jon Tester and Nevada’s Jackie Rosen.

“While Senator Menendez will enjoy the presumption of innocence until proven guilty and have his day in court defending himself, I believe the senator’s resignation is best for his constituents, the American people and our national security,” Baldwin said. A report on Tuesday morning.

Tester echoed Baldwin’s concerns, saying in a statement that Menendez “must resign for the public’s trust in the United States Senate.”

Rosen called the charges Menendez faces “a distraction that undermines the bipartisan work we need to do in the Senate for the American people.”

Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman He was the first to call for Menendez’s resignation over the weekend. Her office has said it will return $5,000 in donations her campaign received from Menendez’s political action group last cycle. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania are other senators who have called for Menendez’s resignation and are considered likely to face re-election next year.

Menendez and his wife Nadine Arslanian Menendez, are accused Accepting “hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes” in exchange for senatorial influence. Prosecutors allege the bribes included gold, cash, home mortgage payments, “little or no work” and compensation for a luxury vehicle.

In an appearance Monday, Menendez was Against calls for his resignation He accused those who “rush to judgement” of doing so for “political expediency”.

“I recognize this is going to be the biggest fight yet,” Menendez said, referring to the upcoming legal battle. “But as I’ve said throughout this whole process, when all the facts are presented, I’m sure I’ll be acquitted, but I’ll still be the senior senator from New Jersey.”

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Arslanian Menendez’s attorney said he has pleaded not guilty and will fight the federal charges.

The New Jersey senator has served in the U.S. House since 2006 after 13 years in the chamber, where he rose to become the No. 3 Democrat. He previously fought federal bribery and corruption charges brought in 2015.

Representative Andy Kim, who represents New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District, announced Saturday Plans to challenge Menendez The incumbent must run for re-election in next year’s Democratic primary.

Ravi Balla, the mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, outside New York City, is seen as the Democratic primary challenger to first-term Rep. Rob Menendez, the senator’s son. Local establishment. The younger Menendez denied his federal charges in a statement over the weekend, saying he had “tremendous confidence” in his father’s ability to represent New Jersey.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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