AOC Calls On Sen. Menendez To Resign, Bucks His Defense That He’s Being Racially Targeted
US Democratic Representative from New York Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks at the end of the rally to end fossil fuels ahead of the 78th United Nations General Assembly and Climate Ambition Summit in New York on September 17, 2023.
LEONARDO MUNOZ / AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) called on Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) to resign after the 69-year-old lawmaker was indicted on federal corruption charges last week.

The indictment, unsealed on Friday, claims that Menendez and his wife had a corrupt relationship with New Jersey businessmen Wael Hana, Jose Uribe, and Fred Daibes, who allegedly gave the senator bribes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. According to the DOJ, the bribes were intended to protect the businessmen and benefit Egypt.

Menendez faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted of the charges, which include conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, and conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right.

AOC was asked to respond to the scandal during an appearance on CBS News’s “Face The Nation” with Margaret Brennan after Brennan noted that the congresswoman had called on Republicans to resign amid their own scandals.

“Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, as you know, has just been indicted on bribery charges,” Brennan said. “Should he resign? And what do you think of his statement that it has to do with him being a Latino?”

“Well, you know, I think it’s- the situation is quite unfortunate, but I do believe that it is in the best interest for Senator Menendez to resign in this moment,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “As you mentioned, consistency matters. It shouldn’t matter whether it’s a Republican or a Democrat. The details in this indictment are extremely serious. They involve the nature of, of not just his but all of our seats in Congress.”

Ocasio-Cortez dismissed Menendez’s claims that there was a “campaign” trying to bring him down and that it was racially motivated.

“And while, you know, as a Latina, there are absolutely ways in which there is systemic bias. But I think what is here in this indictment is quite clear,” she continued. “And I believe it’s in the best interest to maintain the integrity of the seat. I want to emphasize that all people are- they must be extended the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. That is the legal reality in our country. But when it comes to the political and the standard of dignity that we want to maintain for the public in the United States Congress, I do believe it is in the best interests.”



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