Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined several other Democrats in calling on Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez to resign over his “extremely serious” bribery charges.
Menendez and his wife, Nadine, were indicted Friday morning in the Southern District of New York with “bribery offenses in connection with their corrupt relationship with three New Jersey businessmen.” The indictment alleges that Menendez accepted bribes including a luxury car, mortgage payments and more than $500,000 in cash. He is also accused of providing sensitive U.S. government information to the Government of Egypt.
Ocasio-Cortez is among several Democrats who have called on Menendez, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to resign.
“I think the situation is quite unfortunate, but I do believe it is in the best interest for Senator Menendez to resign in this moment. As you mentioned, consistency matters. It shouldn’t matter whether it is a Republican or Democrat,” Ocasio-Cortez said on “Face the Nation” Sunday. “The details in this indictment are extremely serious, they involve the nature of not just his, but all of our seats in Congress, and while, as a Latina, there are absolutely ways in which there is systemic bias, but I think what is here in this indictment is quite clear and I believe it is in the best interest to maintain the integrity of the seat.”
“And I want to emphasize that all people are — they must be extended the presumption of innocence until proven guilty,” she continued. (RELATED: ‘NJ Deserves Better’: Dem Rep Says He’ll Challenge Sen. Bob Menendez In 2024 After Indictment, Calls For Resignation)
Several Democrats have immediately condemned the charges against Menendez and called on him to resign. Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said in a Friday statement that the charges against the senator “implicate national security and the integrity of our criminal justice system.”
New Jersey Democratic Party chairman LeRoy Jones, New Jersey Rep. Andy Jim, and several others from the state have united in believing Menendez should step down.
Democratic Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips told CNN that Menendez should resign and that everyone should be “appalled” by his alleged conduct.
“You should be appalled. A member of Congress who appears to have broken the law, is someone who I believe should resign,” Phillips told CNN “Inside Politics” guest host Manu Raju. “George Santos should have resigned already. Sadly, our House ethics process and the Senate as well is not as proficient as it needs to be, so we have to rely on the judicial system.”