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Calls growing for resignation of U.S. Senator Menendez after 2nd indictment

Democratic Sen. Cory Booker is calling on Sen. Bob Menendez to resign, saying in a statement that the federal bribery charges unveiled on Friday against his fellow New Jersey Democrat contain ”shocking allegations of corruption and specific, disturbing details of wrongdoing.”

Anadolu Agency & AP AMERICAS
Published September 26,2023
(AA Photo)

Demands are growing Tuesday for U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez to resign after he was indicted for a second time last week, with fellow New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker joining the chorus.

"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," Booker said in a statement. "I believe stepping down is best for those Senator Menendez has spent his life serving."

Menendez, temporarily stepped aside from the head of the powerful Foreign Relations Committee after charges were announced Friday. He and his wife were indicted on bribery charges following a federal investigation into their relationships with a trio of New Jersey businessmen.

The senior senator from New Jersey is accused of participating in several corrupt acts that benefited himself, his wife, the Egyptian government and the businessmen, including taking bribes, $150,000 in gold bars and a Mercedes-Benz convertible for his wife.

Menendez, whose previous trial in 2017 ended with a hung jury, rejected calls from fellow Democrats to step down Monday after he was indicted for a second time.

He maintained his innocence and said, "Prosecutors get it wrong sometimes." He stressed "the court of public opinion is no substitute for our revered justice system," as he addressed reporters in his home state.

"I firmly believe that with all the facts are presented, not only will I be exonerated, but I still will be New Jersey's senior senator," he said.

Menendez's resignation has been called for by several Democratic senators, including Peter Welch, Sherrod Brown, John Fetterman, Tammy Baldwin, Jon Tester and Bob Casey.

He "has broken the public trust and should resign from the U.S. Senate," Brown said in a statement.

Welch said: "The shocking and specific allegations against Senator Menendez have wholly compromised his capacity to be that effective Senator," adding he encourages Menendez to resign.