Senator Robert Menendez Vows to Remain in Senate Amid Federal Charges of Bribery and Extortion
Senator Robert Menendez Vows to Remain in Senate Amid Federal Charges
Senator Menendez’s Response to Bribery and Extortion Charges
On Friday, Senator Robert Menendez declared his determination to continue serving in the Senate while facing federal charges of bribery and extortion. This is the second time that the New Jersey Democrat has been prosecuted for alleged corruption while holding his senatorial position.
According to the rules of the Democratic caucus, any committee chair who is charged with a felony must step aside immediately. As the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Menendez holds a powerful position in Congress. However, he plans to relinquish his committee chairmanship during the prosecution, although he will not give up his seat in Congress.
“I remain focused on continuing this important work and will not be distracted by baseless allegations,” stated Menendez in response to the charges.
Senator Menendez and his wife, Nadine Menendez, were indicted on three criminal counts each after a multi-year federal investigation. The charges accuse the couple of accepting bribes in exchange for the senator using his influence to protect and benefit three associates from New Jersey. These bribes allegedly included cash, gold, mortgage payments, compensation for a low-or-no-show job, a luxury vehicle, and other valuable items.
Defiant Response from Senator Menendez
In response to the charges, Senator Menendez strongly denied the allegations and accused the prosecutors of misrepresenting the normal duties of a Congressional office. He also defended his wife against attacks on her longstanding friendships. Menendez argued that the alleged bribes were simply personal friendships and the typical work of a U.S. senator. He used the same counterargument when he was previously charged with corruption in 2015, which resulted in a mistrial due to the jury’s inability to reach a unanimous verdict.
Menendez stated, “The facts are not as presented in the indictment. Prosecutors did that the last time and look what a trial demonstrates.”
Note: This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.