Senate Democrats Who Want Bob Menendez To Resign Are Silent When Pressed On His Expulsion

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Arjun Singh Contributor
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While over half the Senate Democratic Caucus wants their colleague, Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, to resign, they did not answer questions from the Daily Caller News Foundation about whether they would support his expulsion.

Menendez was indicted on federal corruption charges on Sept. 22 for allegedly accepting gifts from agents of the government of Egypt in exchange for using his political power as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to benefit the country, with a superseding indictment on Tuesday accusing him of similar conduct to benefit the government of Qatar. While only one of his colleagues, Democratic Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania, who along with the other Senate Democrats calling for Menendez’s resignation were contacted for this piece, has called for his expulsion, he did not answer the DCNF’s question about why he hasn’t introduced a resolution to this effect, and whether he will do so at all. (RELATED: The Details Of Bob Menendez’s Alleged Bribery Scheme Are Outright Cartoonish)

“Senator Menendez should not be a U.S. Senator. He should have been gone long ago. It is time for every one of my colleagues in the Senate to join me in expelling Senator Menendez,” Fetterman wrote on Oct. 12, on Twitter, now known as X. “We cannot have an alleged foreign agent in the United States Senate. This is not a close call.”

Of the 30 Democratic senators contacted who have publicly stated that Menendez should resign, representatives for only two, Sens. Jon Tester of Montana and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, responded to the DCNF’s inquiries about his expulsion, though they did not address the issue. Tester and Baldwin’s spokespeople referred the DCNF to previous statements calling for his resignation.

Other Democratic Senators who have called on Menendez to resign, but did not respond about whether they’d support his expulsion, were Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters of Michigan, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Bernie Sanders and Peter Welch of Vermont, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock of Georgia, Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, Mark Kelly of Arizona, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Tom Carper of Delaware and Senate President Pro Tempore Patty Murray.

The Democratic senators calling for Menendez’s resignation who are running for reelection in 2024 are Sens. Jacky Rosen of Nevada, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Maria Cantwell of Washington. None of these candidates have called for Menendez’s expulsion from the upper chamber.

In marked contrast to Senate Democrats, several House Republicans repeatedly attempted to expel Republican Rep. George Santos of New York from the House of Representatives following his initial indictment on fraud and campaign finance charges on May 10, 2023. The first Republican-backed resolution to expel Santos was introduced on Oct. 11, while the second such resolution, which passed the House and expelled Santos, was introduced on Nov. 17 after a scathing report about his conduct by the House Ethics Committee.

“He needs to go. And if you are going to expel Santos, how can you allow too somebody like Menendez to remain in the Senate,” Fetterman said on “The View” on Dec. 1. “Menendez I think is really a senator for Egypt, not New Jersey.”

Fetterman has introduced a resolution that would prohibit Menendez from receiving classified briefings while under indictment and from receiving funds for international travel, which has not been taken up by the body. Menendez remains eligible to review classified information related to foreign nations by virtue of his office and has often attended such briefings regarding the war in Ukraine, though he did not attend a briefing on Israel after several senators objected on the grounds of national security.

“The details of the allegations against Senator Menendez are of such a nature that the faith and trust of New Jerseyans as well as those he must work with in order to be effective have been shaken to the core,” wrote Booker, Menendez’s fellow senator from New Jersey.

Menendez’s office and the Senate Select Committee on Ethics did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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