Cory Booker says: Bob Menendez should resign from the Senate after impeachment


Booker’s call could pave the way for other senators to join his call and put Menendez, who is up for re-election next year, under serious pressure to leave public office.

Menendez, a fellow New Jersey Democrat, and his wife were charged Friday with allegedly accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes, gold bars and mortgage payments. The bribe was allegedly used to influence his position as chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee to benefit the Egyptian government.

While the rest of the New Jersey delegation released statements over the weekend – many calling for his resignation – Booker was noticeably silent. Representative Andy Kim, who was the first House member to call for Menendez’s resignation, announced a Senate bid on Saturday to remove Menendez from office.

Meanwhile, Menendez continues to assure that he is innocent. He claimed during a press event on Monday that the cash found in his house was from his own savings accounts, but he did not admit to having gold bricks nor did he answer any questions from the press. He did not say whether he would run for re-election in 2024, but insisted he would not step down.

The four-day silence from the usually talkative Booker was notable, especially in the online world he frequents. But Booker is also in a unique situation. The two work together as the two senators representing New Jersey in Washington, DC. He has supported Menéndez in the past and Booker appeared as a character witness in his final corruption trial, calling him “honorable” and “trustworthy”.

“It would almost be an exaggeration to say that he was just a partner,” Booker said in the lawsuit.

In a much longer statement, Booker praised Menendez from the 2017 trail, saying he had witnessed Menendez’s “extraordinary work and immense work ethic.” But he said the allegations against Menendez were shocking and difficult to reconcile with the man he served with for so many years.

Like other New Jersey Democrats, Booker said Menendez deserves the presumption of innocence and should be prosecuted.

“However, there is a higher standard for public officials, not of criminal law but of general ideals. As senators, we serve on the trust of the public. “This trust is essential to our ability to do our jobs and fulfill our duties to our constituents,” Booker said in his statement. “The details of the allegations against Senator Menendez are such that New Jerseyans are at odds with— And the trust and confidence of the people with whom they must work to be effective has been shaken to the core.”

Before Booker’s announcement, Senator John Fetterman (D-Penn) was the first senator to call on Menendez to resign. Several other senators, including Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), also said Menendez should resign, and Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi attended Monday night.

The last Democratic senator to face calls to resign following reports of sexual harassment was Al Franken of Minnesota. Booker joined more than thirty other Democratic senators in calling for Franken’s resignation.

However, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Franken’s Minnesota counterpart at the time, did not call for his resignation or comment. Instead, Klobuchar responded by citing Franken’s scheduled announcement the following day, where she would ultimately announce her resignation.


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