Following New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez’s indictment on bribery and corruption charges, ethics attorney Richard Painter called it “shocking” and demanded his immediate resignation.
(Video Credit: Fox News)
The 39-page indictment against Menendez was filed by the Justice Department on Friday. Painter told Fox News host Martha MacCallum that it has long been known in D.C. circles that the senator was “corrupt.”
Bipartisan calls for Menendez’s resignation are ringing out on Capitol Hill following pay-to-play charges. He is being forced to step down as the chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but he will remain on the panel and in the Senate. Many want him gone altogether, especially in light of his alleged influence peddling to the Egyptian government.
Painter, who served in the George W. Bush administration, flatly asserted that Menendez needs to go permanently.
“We’ve been around the road here before with Senator Menendez. He was indicted and tried and he would have been convicted, but for a hung jury in 2017,” Painter recounted.
— BPR based (@DumpstrFireNews) September 22, 2023
— BPR based (@DumpstrFireNews) September 23, 2023
The reason why so many Democrats want Sen. Menendez to resign is simple: Get him off the grid and out of the headlines now before any possible connection to the Hunter Biden investigation is further exposed. https://t.co/vnSyplpZmF
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) September 23, 2023
“Everybody in Washington has known that he was crooked for a very, very long time. People in the Democratic Party and elsewhere in New Jersey have known that he never should have been put in charge of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He never should have been run for office again, and he should resign immediately,” the longtime ethics attorney stated.
Menendez was charged previously with corruption in 2017. That trial focused on donations, Caribbean trips, and gifts from Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen. It ended in a hung jury.
“Following his acquittal at that trial, Menendez held a tearful press conference outside the Newark federal courthouse in which he thanked allies for believing him and promised political enemies he wouldn’t forget them,” Fox News reported.
Sen. Menendez: “To those who were digging my political grave so they could jump into my seat, I know who you are and I won’t forget you.” pic.twitter.com/UUWORGwWQL
— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) November 16, 2017
Menendez is up for reelection in 2024. But if he is convicted this time around, he could get 45 years in prison.
New Jersey Republicans were not surprised by the indictment.
Mendham Mayor Christine Serrano Glassner, who is a Republican, branded Menendez “Gold Bar Bob” and charged that the senator has been “enriching himself” while “impoverishing New Jerseyans,” according to Fox News.
One Democrat, Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota, told CNN, “Yes I am a Democrat and so is Senator Menendez, but based on what I have seen I am disappointed.”
(Video Credit: CNN)
Democrat and former Biden campaign spokesperson Kevin Walling called for Menendez to be booted as well.
“This guy has no business [serving] with these charges,” Walling commented on “America Reports” on Friday. “These allegations are damning. The evidence presented in that indictment. Speaking as a Democrat, you have gold bars, a car that was given to this senator.”
“Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade pointed out the hypocrisy of Menendez who frequently accused former President Trump of corrupt ties to foreign countries such as Russia.
Menendez gave a floor speech in 2019 putting forth “the entirely legitimate question of whether Donald Trump could be compromised by the Russian government.”
(Video Credit: Senator Bob Menendez)
“It’s a question that never before could we even imagine thinking about an American president, let alone saying aloud on the floor of the Senate,” Menendez asserted at the time.
“He might be very much compromised to Egypt and benefiting financially with using diplomatic aid. And a lot of people thought [the Newark] indictment would destroy his career. He gets out on a hung jury, hardly a verdict of innocence, and he was able to get six more years,” Kilmeade noted.
There’s really little political incentive for Democrats to defend Menendez here.
When he faced corruption allegations back in 2017, Chris Christie was the governor.
Now, it’s Phil Murphy — if Menendez were to resign, he would be swiftly replaced with another Democrat.
— bryan metzger (@metzgov) September 22, 2023
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie contended that Menendez’s new corruption case is “much different” than the previous one.
In an interview with “America’s Newsroom,” he referred to gold bars allegedly found in his home and his second wife’s safe deposit box.
“It is going to be very difficult for a United States Senator to explain why he has $480,000 in cash stuffed in jackets with his name on it in his home,” Christie stated.
(Video Credit: Fox News)
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