This decision comes amidst a growing chorus within the Democratic party urging Sen. Bob Menendez to step down, following a federal indictment alleging corruption.
Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., has declared his intention to challenge Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., in the upcoming 2024 Democratic primary
Responding to calls for resignation, Sen. Bob Menendez firmly stated, “I am not going anywhere.” In response, Kim expressed his determination to run against Sen. Bob Menendez, emphasizing that New Jersey deserves better representation and safeguarding of Senate integrity.
The indictment, unveiled on Friday in the Southern District of New York, accuses Sen. Bob Menendez of using his official position to benefit various New Jersey businessmen and Egypt’s government in exchange for substantial bribes, including cash, gold bars, and a luxury convertible. Notably, Sen. Bob Menendez’s wife, Nadine, and the implicated businessmen are also named in the indictment.
While Sen. Bob Menendez remains steadfast in his decision not to resign, he has stepped down from his role as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in accordance with Senate Democratic Caucus regulations pertaining to members facing felony charges.
Several members of New Jersey’s House delegation, including Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., have joined the call for Sen. Bob Menendez’s resignation
Gottheimer acknowledged Menendez’s contributions but stressed the gravity of the allegations, asserting that the Senator’s ability to fulfill his responsibilities is in question.
Furthermore, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, a Democrat, has urged Sen. Bob Menendez to step aside, citing the serious implications of the charges on national security and the justice system’s integrity. Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., also voiced his support for Sen. Bob Menendez’s resignation, emphasizing the need for an honorable exit.
Menendez’s political history includes a prior federal corruption indictment in 2015, which concluded in a mistrial in 2017. In 2018, the Senate Ethics Committee found him in violation of federal law and chamber rules for accepting unreported gifts. Despite these controversies, Sen. Bob Menendez secured reelection later that year.