Bob Menendez refuses to resign after indictment on bribery charges, claims he's being targeted because he's 'Latino American'

He said people "cannot accept" that a "Latin American from humble beginnings could rise to be a US senator."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) has refused to resign after he was federally indicted on bribery charges late last week, claiming that he was being targeted because he is "Latino American."

"Those behind this campaign simply cannot accept that a first generation Latin American from humble beginnings could rise to be a US senator," Menendez said in a statement, according to the Daily Mail.

Menendez claimed that prosecutors with the Southern District of New York had "misrepresented the normal work of a Congressional office."

"I have been falsely accused before because I refused to back down to the powers that be and the people of New Jersey were able to see through the smoke and mirrors and recognize I was innocent," he said.

Menendez added that he would not be "distracted by baseless allegations," and would continue his work as a senator.

While not agreeing to resign as a senator, Menendez agreed to step down as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

A growing number of Democrats are calling for Menendez to resign, with 10 of these Democrats notably being up for reelection in 2024.

Fox News reported, "it is intriguing to note that 10 of them are up for reelection in 2024 and probably don’t want to face voters saying, 'why are you leaving Menendez in the Senate?'"

"Senator Menendez has broken the public trust and should resign from the U.S. Senate," wrote Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), who is facing reelection.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said in an interview that "these are serious charges, and it’s time for Sen. Menendez to step away from the Senate and concentrate on his legal defense." The Massachusetts Senator also faces reelection in 2024.

"I’ve read the detailed charges against Senator Menendez and find them deeply disturbing. While he deserves a fair trial like every other American, I believe Senator Menendez should resign for the sake of the public’s faith in the US Senate," Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), who faces reelection, wrote.

"The well-documented political charges are a violation of the public trust, and Senator Menendez should resign," said Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV).

"Senator Menendez should resign," Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) said in a statement.

On Friday, Menendez and his wife, Nadine Arslanian Menendez, were indicted on bribery charges.

The pair were accused of receiving bribes in the form of "cash, gold, payments toward a home mortgage, compensation for a low-or-no-show job, a luxury vehicle, and other things of value," in exchange for the Senator exerting influence that benefited Egypt, as well as three local associates and businessmen.

Other Democrat politicians have called for Menendez to step down.

On Tuesday, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) joined the calls for Menendez to resign, writing in a statement issued on X, "I believe stepping down is best for those Senator Menendez has spent his life serving."

"It’s clear he should step down," Rep. Jeff Jackson (D-NC) said.

"That’s a breach of that trust and a burden I believe will prevent him from fully serving. He should resign," Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) wrote. 

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