Rosen joins senators calling for Menendez to resign
Update: As of Tuesday afternoon the number of senators calling for Menendez’s resignation had climbed to 18, all of whom are Democrats.
Nevada Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen became the seventh U.S. Senator to call for fellow Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez to resign after the New Jersey senator’s indictment last week.
“The well-documented political corruption charges are a violation of the public trust, and Senator Menendez should resign,” Rosen said in a statement Tuesday.
All of the senators who have called for Menendez to resign thus far are, like Rosen, Democrats.
Federal prosecutors indicted Menendez on Friday with conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, and conspiracy to commit extortion under the color of official right. His wife, Nadine Menendez, was also charged with federal crimes.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams for the Southern District of New York said that “between 2018 and 2022, Senator Menendez and his wife engaged in a corrupt relationship with Wael Hana, Jose Uribe and Fred Daibes – three New Jersey businessmen who collectively paid hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes, including cash, gold, a Mercedes-Benz and other things of value – in exchange for Senator Menendez agreeing to use his power and influence to protect and enrich those businessmen and to benefit the Government of Egypt.”
The 39-page indictment included photographs of thousands of dollars in cash stuffed into clothing as well as gold bars.
After the indictment, Menendez stepped down as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but has defended himself against the charges, saying the “excesses of these prosecutors is apparent,” and claiming “they have misrepresented the normal work of a Congressional office.”
Along with Rosen, the Democratic senators who have called for Menendez to resign from the Senate are John Fetterman (PA), Sherrod Brown (OH), Peter Welch (VT), Tammy Baldwin (WI), Jon Tester (MT), and Bob Casey (PA). Brown, Baldwin, Tester, and Casey, like Rosen, are up for reelection next year.
“While he is entitled to due process and a fair trial, this is a distraction that undermines the bipartisan work we need to do in the Senate for the American people,” Rosen said in her statement.
On the presumption that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee for president, Democrats are counting on Trump’s four indictments and voters’ alarm at corruption to be a centerpiece of next year’s campaign, an expectation that could be compromised by Menendez continuing to serve in the Senate while under indictment.