Bob Menendez Attends Another Classified Briefing Despite Foreign Agent Charges

(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Jake Smith Contributor
Font Size:

Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez reportedly attended a classified briefing about Ukraine on Thursday, despite facing charges of bribery and acting as a foreign agent.

Menendez was charged in October for acting as a foreign agent for Egypt in exchange for luxury gifts, and was hit with subsequent allegations in January for accepting bribes from Qatar. Menendez stepped down from his role as Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair in September, but remains in the Senate, and attended a classified briefing on Ukraine Thursday after attending a similar briefing in November, according to CNN reporter Manu Raju. (RELATED: Bob Menendez Doubles Down In Senate Floor Speech After New Indictment Brings Even More Bribery Allegations)

When confronted about his attendance at the briefing, Menendez told reporters to “look to my past answers,” according to Raju. Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly also attended the briefing.

“I don’t know why anybody would take a meeting with that sleaze ball,” Democratic Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman told Fox News reporter Chad Pergram on Thursday. Fetterman has called on Menendez to resign several times for his alleged crimes. “He needs to go, we should have chucked him. I don’t know why we haven’t chucked him. And I sure hope eventually we do chuck him.”

Menendez has pled not guilty and maintains his innocence, claiming the charges against him are a “sensational narrative” drawn up by the U.S. government. Menendez also claims that, on the charges related to promoting Qatar in exchange for gifts, “no proof of receiving any such gift” exists for prosecutors to use against him.

Menendez was pressed in November about his attendance at a separate classified briefing on Ukraine, and told reporters that his status as a lawmaker and allotted security credentials gave him the right to be there. He also denied that he had been prevented by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer from attending other classified briefings, claiming that he simply chose not to go to them.

“The bottom line is, I’m a United States senator, I have my security credentials and an accusation is just that: it’s not proof of anything,” Menendez told Raju in November.

Fetterman introduced a resolution in November that would prevent Menendez from attending classified briefings, according to Politico. Fetterman told the hosts of “The View” in December that it was hypocritical for Congress to expel former Republican New York Rep. George Santos for his alleged crimes, but not Menendez.

“If you are going to expel Santos, how can you allow somebody like Menendez to remain in the Senate?” Fetterman said on “The View.” “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.”

Menendez is polling in the single digits and faces multiple challengers from within his own party in New Jersey for his Senate seat.

Menendez did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.