The decade's most triggering comedy
Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) called on Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) to resign from the U.S. Senate on Saturday after Menendez was indicted on federal corruption charges late this week.
“Senator Menendez should resign,” Fetterman wrote on X. “He’s entitled to the presumption of innocence, but he cannot continue to wield influence over national policy, especially given the serious and specific nature of the allegations.”
“I hope he chooses an honorable exit and focuses on his trial,” he added.
Senator Menendez should resign.
He’s entitled to the presumption of innocence, but he cannot continue to wield influence over national policy, especially given the serious and specific nature of the allegations.
I hope he chooses an honorable exit and focuses on his trial.
— Senator John Fetterman (@SenFettermanPA) September 23, 2023
The indictment, unsealed on Friday, says 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 to 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.
“Those bribes included cash, gold, payments toward a home mortgage, compensation for a low-or-no-show job, a luxury vehicle, and other things of value,” the indictment said. Federal authorities reportedly found gold bars and nearly $500,000 in cash stuffed throughout the senator’s home that they traced back to the businessmen Menendez allegedly worked with.
Menendez responded to the charges by suggesting that he was the victim of a vast conspiracy that was out to get him — even though investigators have tried to nail him for nearly two decades for corruption.
“For years, forces behind the scenes have repeatedly attempted to silence my voice and dig my political grave,” said the 69-year-old senator. “Since this investigation was leaked nearly a year ago, there has been an active smear campaign of anonymous sources and innuendos to create an air of impropriety where none exists.”
“The excesses of these prosecutors is apparent. They have misrepresented the normal work of a Congressional office,” he claimed. “Those behind this campaign simply cannot accept that a first-generation Latino American from humble beginnings could rise to be a U.S. Senator and serve with honor and distinction. Even worse, they see me as an obstacle in the way of their broader political goals.”
Menendez released a second statement Friday evening, saying that he was not going anywhere as calls began to mount for him to resign.
“It is not lost on me how quickly some are rushing to judge a Latino and push him out of his seat,” he said. “I am not going anywhere.”