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Menendez says he will not resign in closed meeting with Democrats: ‘I will continue to cast votes’

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Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., advised the Democratic Senate Caucus throughout a closed lunch on Thursday he wouldn’t resign amid federal corruption and bribery costs introduced this week.

“I’ll proceed to forged votes on behalf of the folks of New Jersey as I’ve for 18 years,” Menendez stated as he exited the lunch. “I believe Schumer might have these votes, he’ll be trying ahead for me to forged them.”

In accordance with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V, who was within the assembly, Menendez made his level properly. Menendez and his spouse federal corruption and bribery costs.

“I believe he made his level, he delivered it very properly,” Manchin advised reporters. “Mainly the entire theme of all the pieces was each American is harmless till confirmed responsible, giving the advantage of the doubt.”

BOB MENENDEZ, WIFE NADINE PLEAD NOT GUILTY ON FEDERAL CORRUPTION CHARGES

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., and Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii., left the assembly whereas Menendez spoke as a result of being on the ethics committee, Coons advised reporters.

“Because the chairman of the ethics committee, I can not touch upon any matter that’s or could also be earlier than the committee. Consequently, I do my greatest to keep away from circumstances the place issues which can be or could also be earlier than the Ethics Committee are mentioned,” Coons stated.

Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., declined to say whether or not Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., ought to resign from his place Wednesday afternoon.

In accordance with Manchin, Schumer didn’t say something throughout Thursday’s assembly, and simply “gave him the ground.” Schumer didn’t reply to ‘ request for remark after the assembly. 

A senior Senate Democrat additionally stated following the assembly: “I’m actually depressed about it. I don’t know what to do about it. All of us don’t. I’m not going to say anymore about it.”

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., stated, “I do not assume there’s something completely happy about this example.” 

Menendez was indicted Friday within the Southern District of New York for allegedly agreeing to make use of his official place to profit New Jersey businessmen Wael Hana, Jose Uribe and Fred Daibes and Egypt’s authorities in trade for a whole lot of hundreds of {dollars} price of bribes. The indictment additionally costs Menendez’s spouse, Nadine, and the three businessmen within the years-long alleged bribery scheme. Federal prosecutors stated the bribes included gold bars, money and a luxurious convertible. 

Thus far, Menendez has refused to resign his seat however stepped down from his place as chair of the Senate Overseas Relations Committee Friday.

The Democratic senator was additionally indicted on federal bribery costs in 2016. Fellow New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker defended his innocence on the time, however after the latest costs referred to as on Menendez to resign. 

The 2016 case associated to a rich Florida eye physician and longtime buddy who gave beneficiant donations to Menendez and allegedly acquired advantages in return. He was acquitted of the costs in 2018 following a mistrial. The brand new costs are unrelated.

Menendez insisted at a press convention Monday he shall be exonerated, as he detailed his decades-long document in Congress and insisted a whole lot of hundreds of {dollars} in money the FBI discovered at his house was withdrawn from his private financial savings account.

SCHUMER DECLINES TO SAY WHETHER MENENDEZ SHOULD RESIGN AMID FEDERAL BRIBERY CHARGES

Photographers swarm Menendez couple

“The allegations leveled towards me are simply that, allegations,” Menendez stated. “For anybody who has identified me all through my 50 years of public service, they know I’ve all the time fought for what is correct. My advocacy has all the time been grounded. And what I discovered from rising up because the son of Cuban refugees, particularly my mother, my hero, Evangelina Menendez. Every part I completed, I labored for regardless of the nay sayers and everybody who has underestimated me.”

In June 2022, the FBI executed a search warrant at Menendez and his spouse’s New Jersey house the place federal brokers most of the fruits of the bribery scheme, together with money, gold, the luxurious convertible, and residential furnishings. Prosecutors say $480,000 in money, a lot of it stuffed into envelopes and hidden in clothes, closets, and a protected, was found within the house, in addition to over $70,000 in money in Nadine’s protected deposit field. A number of the envelopes contained the fingerprints and/or DNA of Daibes or his driver, in accordance with the indictment.

Different of the envelopes have been discovered inside jackets bearing Menendez identify and hanging in his closet.

As of Thursday, greater than half of the Senate Democratic Caucus have referred to as on Menendez to resign.

’ Danielle Wallace and Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.

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