Some Democrats Support Ally Amid Federal Indictment

( – More than half of Senate Democrats are now calling for New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez to resign his seat over his indictment on fraud and bribery charges.

By Tuesday, Reuters reported that 26 Democrat Senators had called for Menendez to step down. By Wednesday, Majority Whip Dick Durbin, along with Washington Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, and Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen joined the call, bringing the total number of Democrats to thirty.

Menendez’s New Jersey colleague Senator Cory Booker said in a statement on Tuesday that the best thing Menendez could do for the people of New Jersey is to step down.

In his statement calling on Menendez to resign, Majority Whip Durbin said the senator’s actions fell “way, way below the standard” of his office, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Durbin noted that both the Governor of New Jersey and the state’s other Senator “have made it clear” that Menendez is unable to serve.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is one of the 21 Senate Democrats who has not called for Menendez’s resignation.

Meanwhile, New Jersey Democrat Rep. Andy Kim announced last weekend that he would challenge Menendez in the 2024 primary.

Last Friday, Menendez temporarily stepped down as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee but insisted that he would not resign his seat.

In a press conference on Monday, Menendez denied any wrongdoing and vowed to remain in the Senate, telling reporters that when the facts are presented, he will not only be exonerated but will remain the senior senator from New Jersey.

Faced with calls to resign from 30 of his colleagues, Menendez spoke with his fellow Democrats in a closed-door meeting on Thursday where he once again vowed to remain, CNBC reported.

The three Democrats on the Senate Ethics Committee did not attend the meeting since the committee is expected to look into Menendez’s conduct.

Following the closed-door meeting, Menendez told reporters that he will “continue to cast votes on behalf of the people of New Jersey” as he has for the last 18 years.

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