Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) has responded to the backlash over his indictment on federal bribery charges by accusing his critics of racism.
As Slay News reported, the senator and his wife, Nadine Menendez, were indicted on federal bribery charges by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday.
The senator’s wife, Nadine Menendez, was also charged.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) issued a short press release on social media that said:
“A press event will be held today at 11:00 a.m. to announce the unsealing of an indictment charging Robert Menendez, U.S. Senator from New Jersey, and his wife, Nadine Menendez, with bribery offenses in connection with their corrupt relationship with three New Jersey businessmen.”
Later on Friday, prosecutors released the full indictment, detailing the evidence they discovered against Menendez.
BREAKING: Democrat NJ Sen. Bob Menendez indicted for taking bribes from three businessmen including cash, gold, mortgage payments and a luxury vehicle @DailyCaller https://t.co/sMgmvDSS62 pic.twitter.com/dTEO9vWXDs
— James Lynch (@jameslynch32) September 22, 2023
Fred Daibes, a real estate developer, New Jersey businessman Wael Hana, and Joseph Uribe were also charged.
“The Senator and his wife accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes….. cash, gold, home mortgage payments, jobs, cars, and other things of value” in exchange for “using his power and influence to protect and enrich [New Jersey] businessmen and to benefit the government of Egypt,” U.S. Attorney for the SDNY Damian Williams said.
Nadine Menendez was given a “no-show” or “low-show” job, a Mercedes Benz, and other things of value, Williams said.
Special agents discovered $500,000 of cash stuffed into envelopes in closets.
“Some of the cash was stuffed in the Senator’s jacket pockets,” Williams said at a press conference on Friday.
“Some of the envelopes of cash contained Daibes’ fingerprints and Daibes’ DNA.”
During raids on his home, investigators also found hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gold bullion.
The discovery led a 2024 Republican challenger to Menendez to dub the senator “Gold Bar Bob.”
“The indictment of Sen. Bob Menendez is a sad day for New Jersey, but not surprising,” Christine Serrano Glassner said in a statement.
“Gold Bar Bob has been battling credible allegations of corruption throughout most of his time in office, all while being protected and enabled by his cronies and allies in Washington.”
Menendez will be stepping down as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
However, the case has led to widespread calls for Menendez’s resignation from both sides of the aisle.
Top New Jersey Democrats are calling for Menendez to resign as senator.
“These are serious charges that implicate national security and the integrity of our criminal justice system,” New Jersey’s Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement on Friday.
“Under our legal system, Senator Menendez and the other defendants have not been found guilty and will have the ability to present evidence disputing these charges, and we must respect the process.”
“However, the alleged facts are so serious that they compromise the ability of Senator Menendez to effectively represent the people of our state,” Murphy added.
“Therefore, I am calling for his immediate resignation.”
Democrat Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) said it is in the best interest of the state of New Jersey that Menendez resign.
These are serious allegations against Senator Menendez and if proven true, there is no room for this kind of conduct in public service.
Today is a sad day for New Jersey and I believe it’s in the best interest of our state that Senator Menendez resign.
— Rep. Mikie Sherrill (@RepSherrill) September 22, 2023
Senior NJ Democrat Reps. Frank Pallone Jr. and Bill Pascrell Jr. also called on Menendez to resign.
To put this into context, Pallone is longest serving NJ Dem, sixth most senior House member
There’s a lot of loyalty in the delegation, both members have worked and known Menendez a long time, so their statements speak to how serious Dems see these allegations https://t.co/n6DxgX7xEI
— Heather Caygle (@heatherscope) September 22, 2023
NBC News reported:
New Jersey Democrats including Gov. Phil Murphy are calling on Bob Menendez to resign after the Democratic senator was charged Friday with accepting bribes to wield his power and influence.
Murphy called the allegations against Menendez, the state’s senior senator, “deeply disturbing.”
Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., also called on Menendez to step down, saying he lacked “confidence that the Senator has the ability to properly focus on our state and its people while addressing such a significant legal matter.”
Kim’s statement was first reported by the New Jersey Globe.
Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., said in a tweet that it would be “in the best interest of our state that Senator Menendez resign.”
Kim was the second Democrat on Capitol Hill to call for Menendez to step down amid the allegations.
In a CNN interview, Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., said that regardless of political party, a member of Congress who appears to have broken the law should resign, when asked whether Menendez should resign from the Senate.
Menendez issued a statement Friday evening in response to calls for his resignation.
Backed into a corner, the senator pulled out the oldest trick in the Democrat book and played the race card.
“It is not lost on me how quickly some are rushing to judge a Latino and push him out of his seat,” Menendez said.
“I am not going anywhere.”
NEW: Sen Menendez responds to calls for his resignation w/ new stmt: “It is not lost on me how quickly some are rushing to judge a Latino and push him out of his seat. I am not going anywhere.”
Full statement is here: pic.twitter.com/qkVTXhwoAw
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) September 22, 2023