WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 16: Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) speaks during a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Border Security and Immigration hearing on Capitol Hill on December 16, 2020 in Washington, DC. The hearing was held to examine Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement through United States refugee policy. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper joined the calls for fellow Democrat U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey to step down following his recent indictment.
Federal authorities indicted Menendez for the second time Friday, charging him with conspiracy to commit bribery and related offenses over his alleged aid to a North Jersey businessman and an attempt to disrupt criminal probes into allies.
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Authorities accuse the senator and his wife, Nadine Menendez, of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for official favors meant to aid three men — Wael Hana, Jose Uribe and Fred Daibes — and the nation of Egypt. Nadine Menendez, Hana, Uribe, and Daibes are named in the indictment.
“As with all Americans, Senator Menendez must be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and will face his day in court,” Bennet said in a statement. “The nature of these charges erodes public trust in Congress. No one is entitled to serve in the U.S. Senate, and he should step aside.”
“We have a system in this country that’s based on trust. Abe Lincoln said ‘with public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed.’ Trust has to be paramount in our government. I think he should resign,” Hickenlooper said in an email to Newsline.
Fellow New Jersey U.S. Sen. Cory Booker also called for Menendez to resign Tuesday. A growing number of other Democrats throughout the country have made similar statements.
Editor’s note: This story was updated at 5:03 p.m., Sept. 26, 2023, to include a statement from Sen. John Hickenlooper.
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