LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada’s Democratic U.S. senators split on whether New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez should resign over federal bribery allegations.
Sen. Jacky Rosen said Tuesday that Menendez should resign. “The well-documented political corruption charges are a violation of the public trust, and Senator Menendez should resign,” she said. “While he is entitled to due process and a fair trial, this is a distraction that undermines the bipartisan work we need to do in the Senate for the American people.”
Menendez has denied any wrongdoing. He is the longtime chairman and top Democrat on the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto went the other way on the question. “I’ve been very clear about this. First of all let me just say there are serious allegations. I also, as a former prosecutor, trust the justice system to move this case through and provide him with a fair trial. And I also believe it is up for the voters in New Jersey to make that decision.”
Menendez and his wife, Nadine, are accused in an indictment released Friday of using his position to aid the authoritarian government of Egypt and to pressure federal prosecutors to drop a case against a friend, among other allegations of corruption. The three-count indictment says they were paid bribes — gold bars, a luxury car and cash — by three New Jersey businessmen in exchange for the corrupt acts.
Menendez came under heavy pressure to resign Tuesday as a surging number of his Democratic colleagues in the Senate, including fellow New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker, urged him to step aside.