Cascade Of Senate Democrats Call On Bob Menendez To Resign

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  • Several Democratic senators have called on Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey to resign from office.
  • Jon Tester, Tammy Baldwin, Bob Casey, Jr., Jacky Rosen, Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren, who will be on the ballot in 2024, issued statements calling for Menendez to leave, as has his home state Senate colleague, Cory Booker.
  • “Stepping down is not an admission of guilt but an acknowledgment that holding public office often demands tremendous sacrifices at great personal cost,” Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey wrote.

Several Democratic senators have called on their colleague, Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, to resign from office after his indictment on federal corruption charges.

Menendez, a three-term senior senator from New Jersey, was charged with three counts of bribery, fraud and extortion on Friday by a grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York over allegations that he solicited bribes in exchange for steering U.S. foreign policy to favor Egypt, as well as interfered in federal investigations for associates. Since then, many of Menendez’s colleagues have called on him to resign, with a majority being senators seeking re-election in 2024. (RELATED: The Details Of Bob Menendez’s Alleged Bribery Scheme Are Outright Cartoonish)

“Stepping down is not an admission of guilt but an acknowledgment that holding public office often demands tremendous sacrifices at great personal cost,” Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey wrote. “[He] 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.”

Booker was joined in calling for resignation by several of his Democratic colleagues who are running for re-election in 2024.

“While he deserves a fair trial like every other American, I believe Senator Menendez should resign for the sake of the public’s faith in the U.S. Senate,” Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana wrote in a statement.

Tester is running for reelection to a fourth term in 2024 in a state with a Cook Partisan Voting Index score of R+11, and which Donald Trump won in the 2020 election by 16 points.

“While Senator Menendez enjoys the presumption of innocence until proven guilty … I believe it’s in the best interests of his constituents, the American people and our national security for the Senator to step down,” Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin wrote on Twitter, now known as X.

“Public service is a sacred trust. The specific allegations set forth in the federal indictment indicate to me that Senator Menendez violated that trust repeatedly,” Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. of Pennsylvania wrote on his website. “[S]erving in public office is a privilege that demands a higher standard of conduct. Senator Menendez should resign.”

Along with them, Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen of Nevada has also called on Menendez to leave office.

“The well-documented political corruption charges are a violation of public trust, and Senator Menendez should resign,” she wrote in a statement, adding that “this is a distraction that undermines the bipartisan work we need to do in the Senate for the American people.”

Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is another candidate for reelection in 2024 and has also suggested that Menendez step down.

“These are serious charges, and it’s time for Sen. Menendez to step away from the Senate and concentrate on his legal defense,” she told reporters on Tuesday.

Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio joined his colleagues in demanding Menendez leave, telling reporters that “Senator Menendez has broken the public trust and should resign from the U.S. Senate.”

Brown is running for reelection to a fourth term in a state that elected Republican Sen. J.D. Vance in 2022 and voted for Donald Trump by an eight-point margin in 2020.

Two recently elected Democratic Senators, Peter Welch of Vermont and John Fetterman of Pennsylvania, also called on Menendez to resign, according to their posts on social media. Senators Mark Kelly of Arizona and Michael Bennet of Colorado also released statements demanding that he leave the chamber.

Phil Murphy, the current governor of New Jersey, demanded that Menendez resign on the day of his indictment, as did the New Jersey Democratic Party’s chairman and several Democratic members of Congress. Democratic Rep. Andy Kim of New Jersey announced a primary challenge for Menendez’s seat in 2024 after calling for his resignation.

Among members of the House of Representatives, former House Speaker and Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California added herself to the chorus of members calling for Menendez’s resignation on Monday, saying on MSNBC that “[i]t probably would be a good idea if he did resign.” Menendez “temporarily” relinquished his duties as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Friday following the indictment.

Menendez has received some support from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who said that Menendez “has been a dedicated public servant and is always fighting hard for the people of New Jersey. He has a right to due process and a fair trial.”

On the other side of the aisle, Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas attacked Senate Democrats for demanding Menendez’s resignation.

“Senator Menendez has a right to test the government’s evidence in court, just like any other citizen. He should be judged by jurors and New Jersey’s voters, not by Democratic politicians who now view him as inconvenient to their hold on power,” Cotton wrote on Twitter.

Menendez has been under indictment on federal corruption charges while a Senator once before, with a trial leading to a hung jury and mistrial in 2017, resulting in charges being dropped, according to The New York Times.

Menendez has repeatedly refused to resign and defended his conduct in a press conference on Monday.

His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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