Democratic Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman said Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez’s alleged crimes are more “serious” than those Republican New York Rep. George Santos is accused of.
The House expelled Santos in a 311-114 vote Friday morning after the House Ethics Committee released a damning report finding “substantial evidence” of federal crime violations allegedly committed by the embattled congressman. Fetterman said if Santos has been removed from Congress, then Menendez also needs to be ousted for allegedly accepting bribes to wield political power overseas and in the state of New Jersey.
“But to me, I think the more important picture is that we have a colleague in the Senate that actually [has] done much more sinister and serious kinds of things, Senator Menendez,” Fetterman said on “The View” on Friday. “He needs to go. And if you are going to expel Santos, how can you allow to somebody like Menendez to remain in the Senate. And you know, Santos’ lies were almost like, you know, funny, and he landed on the moon and all that kind of stuff. Whereas I think Menendez I think is really a senator for Egypt, not New Jersey. So I really think he needs to go, and especially, it’s kind of strange that if Santos is not allowed to remain in the House, someone like that.”
Fetterman called on the Senate to expel Menendez in an October statement, saying there should not be an “alleged foreign agent” in the chamber. (RELATED: John Fetterman Calls On Senate To Expel Bob Menendez)
The indictment against Menendez states that his bribery offenses are related to his alleged “corrupt relationship” with three New Jersey congressmen and that he allegedly provided sensitive U.S. government information to the government of Egypt. Authorities allegedly found over $480,000 in cash and gold bars hidden in clothing, closets, and a safe inside his home.
Menendez denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to all charges. The senator claimed the stashed money was part of his emergency savings account, which he said was his Cuban parents’ custom due to property confiscations in the country.
The New Jersey senator has refused to resign from the Senate as several members of his own party called on him to step down. He temporarily stepped down as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee following the indictment.
The House expelled Santos following the Ethics Committee’s investigation into the 23-count indictment accusing him of campaign finance violations, wire fraud and of making false statements to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). He is also charged with aggravated identity theft, money laundering, theft of public funds and materially false statements to the House of Representatives.