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September 26, 2023 10:09 am MST

Pressure Grows on Sen. Bob Menendez To Resign

  • 6 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE: Sen. John Hickenlooper agrees, it’s time for Sen. Bob Menendez to hang it up:

“We have a system in this country that’s based on trust,” Hickenlooper said. “Abe Lincoln said ‘with public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed.’ Trust has to be paramount in our government. I think he should resign.”

—–

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ).

As NPR’s Susan Davis reports, Democrats across the country are joining New Jersey Democrats who are urging Sen. Bob Menendez to resign from office following an indictment last week on bribery and fraud charges right out of a Martin Scorsese movie:

“While he is entitled to the presumption of innocence, serving in public office is a privilege that demands a higher standard of conduct,” said Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., in a Tuesday statement calling for his resignation.

Casey joins a growing chorus of Democrats running for reelection in 2024 in competitive races to call for Menendez to leave the Senate. They include: Jon Tester of Montana, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Jacky Rosen of Nevada and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin. Casey’s fellow Pennsylvania senator, John Fetterman, was the first to call for Menendez to go following his indictment last week. So far, no Republican senator has called for his resignation.

Menendez and his wife Nadine were indicted last week in a federal court in New York on three charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and conspiracy to commit extortion. The indictment alleges that Menendez and his wife accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. In return, Menendez allegedly used his position as a U.S. senator to help the businessmen by providing sensitive U.S. government information taking actions to aid the Egyptian government.

This morning, Colorado’s Sen. Michael Bennet agreed that Sen. Menendez should resign:

Along with Menendez’s New Jersey colleague Sen. Cory Booker as the Washington Post reports:

In a lengthy statement, Booker said he believes Menendez needs to step down, asserting that the allegations the senator faces “are of such a nature that the faith and trust of New Jerseyans as well as those he must work with in order to be effective have been shaken to the core.”

“Stepping down is not an admission of guilt but an acknowledgment that holding public office often demands tremendous sacrifices at great personal cost,” Booker’s statement read. “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.”

Sen. Menendez as of this writing reportedly remains defiant, angrily refusing calls to resign and insisting that the feds have criminalized “regular congressional business.” This isn’t Sen. Menendez’s first go-round on federal corruption charges, which he beat in 2018 before being admonished by the Senate for his shady behavior then. If proven, the charges against Sen. Menendez and his wife this time could put them away for decades.

Under ordinary circumstances, one would expect to see Republicans eagerly pouncing on Menendez’s indictment as joining the call for Menendez to resign. The problem with that is Republicans have their own federally indicted member of Congress across the river in New York–and unless Republicans want the very next question to be about Rep. George Santos, they’re obliged to keep Bob Menendez’s name out of their mouths.

For Democrats, it’s a chance to prove again that at least one party still has basic standards.

Comments

6 thoughts on “Pressure Grows on Sen. Bob Menendez To Resign

  1. Daily Kos list of those going public in favor of Mendendez resigning is now 17 Senators.

    Baldwin, Bennet, Booker, Brown, Casey, Fetterman , Gillibrand, Hassan, Heinrich, Hirano, Kelly, Klobuchar, Markey, Rosen, Tester, Warren, Welch

    As several people have noted, Al Franken resigned under pressure AFTER multiple accusations and the start of an ethics committee inquiry. I hope there is a similar move to an announced ethics committee process soon.

    UPDATE: Just read another story adding Warnock. Radio silence continues for leadership:

    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Friday that he supports Menendez’s decision to step down from his chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, just as he did following the 2015 indictment, but he declined to go any further.

    Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), the party’s No. 2 and No. 3 Senate leaders, also have declined to call for him to step down.

  2. So, the current total is 17 Dem senators and 0 Republican senators calling for him to resign.

    Here's a thought. Maybe he'll pull a Steve Lebsock and join the Party of Grifters and Perverts.

    They seem to be the only ones holding their fire.

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