Democrat Senators Stop Short of Saying Menendez Should Resign

But AOC does think he should step down
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2023 2:30 AM CDT
AOC Says Bob Menendez Needs to Go
FILE - Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee speaks during Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the budget request for the State Department for fiscal year 2024, on Capitol Hill, March 22, 2023, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

Add Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to the list of politicians who think Sen. Bob Menendez needs to resign due to his indictment on corruption charges. The Democratic representative said the charges against Menendez, including allegations that he accepted bribes including a Mercedes-Benz, are "very serious," the Guardian reports. "Consistency matters. It shouldn't matter if it's a Republican or a Democrat," she said, adding that the allegations "involve the nature of not just his but all of our seats in Congress." Meanwhile, while Sen. John Fetterman and several Democrats in Menendez's home state of New Jersey say their fellow Dem should step down, NBC News reports that other Democrat senators have not been so quick to join that chorus:

  • Chris Murphy: "No senators should be trading on their position in order to enrich themselves," he said Sunday on MSNBC. "It is hard for me to believe that Sen. Menendez can be effective in his job given these allegations, but I think I want to get back and talk to my colleagues on the Foreign Relations Committee before I recommend a path forward for Sen. Menendez."
  • Mark Kelly: "I've never seen anything like this," he said on CBS' Face the Nation on Sunday, noting that Menendez stepping down as chair of the Foreign Relations Committee is "a serious step." Kelly continued, "I think Sen. Menendez is going to have to think long and hard about the cloud that's going to hang over his service in the United State Senate. He's got to figure out whether he can adequately serve the people of New Jersey."
  • Dick Durbin: "In terms of resignation, that's a decision to be made by Sen. Menendez and the people of New Jersey," he said on CNN on Sunday. "The person who is accused is entitled to the presumption of innocence, and it's the responsibility of the government to prove that case. I have said that about Donald Trump. I will say the same thing about Bob Menendez."
Also weighing in Sunday? Rep. George Santos, the infamous Republican who has refused to leave office despite his own legal challenges. "This—the media has to stop acting like everybody is guilty before they're even judged that by a jury," he told NBC. "When did we walk away from the fabric of our Constitution that everybody has a presumption of innocence before anything else? So I don't ... think he should resign." (More Bob Menendez stories.)

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