Sen. Bob Menendez, DN.J., rejected calls to resign from Congress on Friday, saying he plans to fight charges that include bribery and corruption.
“People who believe in justice are innocent until proven guilty. I want to continue to fight for the people of New Jersey with the same success I have had over the past five decades,” Menendez said in a statement.
“This is the same record of success that these same leaders have admired all along. It’s not lost on me how quickly some people are quick to judge a Latino and push him out of his seat. I’m not going anywhere,” he added.
The senator’s statement led to a growing number of Democrats in New Jersey and on Capitol Hill calling for his resignation after the federal charges against him and his wife were unsealed Friday morning.
New Jersey Democrats, including Gov. Bill Murphy, and members of the state’s congressional delegation have said Menendez should go.
“Under our legal system, Senator Menendez and the other defendants have not been found guilty and will have the ability to present evidence refuting these allegations, and we must respect that process,” Murphy said. Report.
“However, the facts alleged are so serious that they compromise Senator Menendez’s ability to effectively represent the people of our state. Therefore, I am calling for his immediate resignation,” he said.
Representative. Andy Kim, DNJ, called on Menendez to step down, saying he “lacks confidence that the senator has the ability to properly focus on our state and its people.”
Kim’s statement First reported Via the New Jersey Globe.
Rep. Mickey Sherrill, D-N.J., said In a tweet “It would be in the best interest of our state for Senator Menendez to resign.”
Kim is the second Democrat on Capitol Hill to call for Menendez to step down amid the allegations.
A CNN interviewRep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., said when asked if Menendez should resign from the Senate, regardless of political party, a member of Congress found to have violated the law must resign.
“Here is the proof. Yes, I’m a Democrat and so is Senator Menendez, but based on what I’ve seen, I’m disappointed. Yes, I think he should resign,” Phillips said.
New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman Leroy J. Jones Jr. He also called for Menendez’s resignation.
“We must grant Senator Menendez the same presumption of innocence that the U.S. Constitution guarantees to all Americans. But we must be eager to ensure that New Jerseyans continue to receive the federal representation they deserve, and to ensure that our party deserves it. Focusing on important state legislative elections in November, it is best that Senator Menendez resigns.” I believe the action is so that he can focus his full attention on his legal defense,” Jones wrote in a statement.
Menendez and his wife, Nadine Menendez, were charged in Manhattan federal court with conspiracy to commit bribery. An accusation That was made public on Friday.
Menendez allegedly used the power of his official position to enrich three New Jersey businessmen and benefit the Egyptian government.
In return, the couple received lavish bribes, including “cash, gold bars, home mortgage payments, compensation for little or no work, a luxury vehicle and other items of value,” prosecutors said.
Menendez rejected the allegations against him in a statement Friday, arguing that he “faces an intense smear campaign based on anonymous sources and an air of falsehood” and that prosecutors “misrepresented the normal work of a congressional office.” .”
Menendez is not the first lawmaker this year to face calls for his resignation stemming from a federal investigation.
Rib. When George Santos, RN.Y., ran for Congress, he faced calls to resign amid a series of accusations that he lied and fabricated some of his credentials and biography. In May, he pleaded not guilty to a 13-count federal indictment related to wire fraud, money laundering and other charges.