Menendez Refuses To Resign Post-Indictment

( – Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, recently indicted on charges of federal bribery, gave a public address on Monday and refused to step down.

In his first public response to the indictment last Friday, Menendez was defiant, telling the media and his supporters that he expects to remain in Congress for many years and that his fellow party members in New Jersey, including Gov. Phil Murphy, are mistaken to call for his resignation. Menendez said the allegations leveled against him “are just that: allegations.”

Speaking to an audience in Union City, the senator said that he recognizes “that this will be the biggest fight yet” and that he “firmly” believes “that when all the facts are presented,” he will not only “be exonerated,” but will remain a senator for New Jersey.

The senator also addressed those who are calling for his resignation with “a limited set of facts” framed to appear “as salacious as possible” and are only asking for him to step down out of “political expediency.” Menendez says his main focus is “continuing to do the important work” he does “every day on behalf” of New Jersey’s 9 million residents. He then touted some of his accomplishments in Congress, from pushing to fund the federal government to avoid a shutdown to passing aid for Ukraine and disaster relief.

Alongside his wife, Nadine, Menendez was charged with federal bribery last week by the US attorney’s office in New York’s Southern District. The couple is accused of accepting substantial sums of bribe money from three New Jersey businessmen in exchange for Menendez’s “power and influence” to help them turn a profit.

In a raid on his residence in June 2022, two gold bars weighing 1 kilogram along with over $480,000 in cash (which was hidden around the home in clothes and envelopes) were seized by federal agents. Menendez maintains that the money recovered was not for bribes. Menendez has faced corruption charges once before, in 2015, which were dropped in 2028.

The senator did not specify if he would run for reelection. Menendez said he is “humbly” asking for a “pause” in judgment until “all the facts” are presented.

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