Democratic Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman hired expelled Republican New York Rep. George Santos to give an embattled senator a pep talk on Monday.
Fetterman posted on Twitter that “ethically challenged” Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez “could use some encouragement” from a “seasoned expert” as he and his wife face bribery charges. Menendez has ignored several calls from fellow Democratic members of Congress to resign, and has made it clear that he was only “temporarily” stepping down from his leadership role in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Fetterman, one of Menendez’s most vocal Democratic critics, hired the recently expelled Santos using the website Cameo, which allows users to commission personalized video messages from celebrities. A video from Santos cost $200, as of press time.
According to Fetterman’s tweet, he did not inform Santos that Menendez was the intended recipient, identifying the embattled lawmaker only as “Bobby from Jersey.”
“Hey Bobby, uhhh … look, I don’t think I need to tell you, but these people that want to make you get in trouble and want to kick you out and make you run away, you make them put up or shut up!” Santos said in the video. “You stand your ground, sir. And don’t get bogged down by all the haters out there! Stay strong. Merry Christmas.”
I thought my ethically-challenged colleague @BobMenendezNJ could use some encouragement given his substantial legal problems.
So, I approached a seasoned expert on the matter to give ‘Bobby from Jersey’ some advice. pic.twitter.com/y8iX55EyNi
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) December 4, 2023
The House voted to expel Santos in a 311-114 vote on Friday following a damning House Ethics Committee report that found “substantial evidence” of criminal activity. In October, the Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted Santos on 23 counts related to alleged campaign finance violations and fraudulent fundraising reports.
During a Friday interview on “The View,” Fetterman said Menendez’s alleged crimes are worse than those allegedly committed by Santos. (RELATED: John Fetterman Calls On Senate To Expel Bob Menendez)
“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. “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?”
The indictment against Menendez accuses the senator and his wife of accepting bribes from three New Jersey congressmen and the government of Egypt, to which he allegedly provided sensitive U.S. government information. Authorities say they found over $480,000 in cash and gold bars hidden in clothing, closets and a safe inside Menendez’s home.
Menendez has denied all wrongdoing and said the stashes of money are part of his emergency savings. The senator, the son of Cuban immigrants, said hiding money around the house is an old Cuban custom due to property confiscations in the country.