Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) released a statement Saturday calling on Sen. Bob Menendez (D.N.J.) to resign following the indictment.
“While he is entitled to the presumption of innocence under our system, he is not entitled to continue to influence national policy, especially given the serious and unique nature of the allegations,” Fetterman said in a statement. said.
Menendez was indicted Friday on charges that he and his wife accepted more than $600,000 in bribes from three New Jersey businessmen to benefit Egypt. Mr Menendez denied the charges, calling them a “smear campaign” and “false”.
Fetterman joins a growing list of Democrats and Speaker Kevin McCarthy calling for Menendez to resign. He is the first senator to call for his resignation.
“I hope he chooses an honorable exit and focuses on the trial,” Fetterman said in a statement.
Prosecutors allege that Menendez and his wife received cash, gold bars, furniture and luxury cars in exchange for their help. The FBI found nearly $500,000 in cash and more than $100,000 in gold bars in Menendez’s New Jersey home.
Mr. Menendez, his wife, and a group of businessmen were charged with conspiracy to commit bribery. Prosecutors in the case allege that three businessmen paid Mr. Menendez for political favors. They also allege that Mr. Menendez pressured New Jersey prosecutors to obstruct trials in multiple federal and state criminal cases.
Menendez resigned as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee late Friday.
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