Democratic party leaders refused again on Sunday to say whether New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez should resign from the U.S. Senate if he’s convicted of corruption charges.
Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen and Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez all dodged the question during separate interview on Sunday talk shows.
Democrats have repeatedly refused to say what should happen to Menendez if he’s convicted in federal court in New Jersey for accepting bribes from Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgin. Federal prosecutors have accused Menendez of taking gifts and campaign contributions from Melgin in exchange for political favors.
The jury is currently deliberating and is expected to announce a verdict this week.
If he resigns from office, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, will have the power to appoint a replacement. Durbin, Van Hollen and Perez continued the trend of dodging questions about Menendez’s fate.
“I’m not going to get into the hypotheticals on either of these situations. As I’ve said, several steps removed. I’m hopeful that when all is said and done that Bob Menendez will be returning to the Senate representing the state of New Jersey,” Durbin told CNN’s Jake Tapper when asked if he would vote to remove Menendez from office if he’s convicted.
“We’re going to leave this decision to the jury,” Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen told Fox News’ Chris Wallace.
“I’m not going to get ahead of the game. People on the jury will look at the facts just like people in Alabama will have to look at the facts, and they’ll have to render a decision. I’m not going to speculate on what the outcome of that jury decision will be.”
And Tom Perez, the embattled chairman of the DNC, said he refused to weigh in on hypotheticals.
“We’ll wait and see what happens. The jury has not spoken yet,” Perez told ABC’s Martha Raddatz on “This Week.”
“The jury has not spoken yet, so I don’t like to answer ‘what if’ questions,” he added.