The decade's most triggering comedy
The Biden administration declined to comment Friday on the federal corruption charges against Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), even as other top Democrats have started pressuring him to resign.
The indictment 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.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked at a press conference if the White House knew about the indictment before it was made public and if they believe that Menendez should resign.
“So, a couple of things. I’m going to be really careful here — this is a — and not comment, because this is an active matter,” she said. “We learned about this just like all of you. But again, this is active matter, so I’m not going to comment.”
When repeatedly asked if he should resign, all she would say was, “I’m not going to comment.”
Karine Jean-Pierre says she's "not gonna comment" on the indictment of Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez — who participated in a photo op with Biden less than 24 hours ago — on federal corruption and bribery charges pic.twitter.com/AMb5BJshqT
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 22, 2023
A reporter later asked Jean-Pierre what message it would send to the rest of the world if Menendez was allowed to remain as the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. Menendez was forced to step down from the role due to Senate Democrat bylaws that require leaders to step down if they are charged with a felony.
“So, I believe, from some of your reporting, I think there’s discussions happening about his next steps — the senator’s next steps. So, I leave it to the leadership of the Senate and certainly lead it — leave that to the senator’s office,” she said. “I have to be really careful because it is, indeed, an ongoing matter. And so, I cannot comment on this. But as far as his leadership role in the Senate, that is something for Senate leadership to speak to.”
She said that she wanted to be “very, very clear about this,” that President Joe Biden was “not going to get involved.”