Sen. Fetterman reiterates call for Sen. Menendez to be expelled from Senate following new allegations of foreign bribery and corruption

 January 5, 2024

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who was criminally indicted in September on federal bribery and corruption charges, has now been hit with a superseding indictment that alleges even more criminal behavior by the New Jersey senator.

That news prompted the indicted Democrat's colleague, Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA), to reiterate his prior demand that Menendez be expelled from the Senate since he has adamantly refused to resign, Fox News reported.

Menendez had previously been accused of using his power and influence as a senator to benefit the Egyptian government and military in exchange for bribes, an accusation that has now been expanded to include similar allegations of corruption involving the government of Qatar.

The allegations against Menendez

On Tuesday, Sen. Fetterman posted on social media a link to an article about the superseding indictment against Sen. Menendez and wrote, "Now, accused of selling his honor and our nation for a $24,000 watch. Accused as a foreign agent for *two* nations. How much more before we finally expel @SenatorMenendez?"

Indeed, the new indictment of the senior Democratic senator from New Jersey alleges that he received from Qatar various items of value in exchange for actions to that nation's benefit, including an expensive gold watch and tickets to a racing event, among other things.

Previously, Menendez had been federally indicted on allegations that he had accepted bribes in the form of cash, gold bars, a luxury vehicle, home mortgage payments, a job for his wife, and other items of value in exchange for actions that benefited the Egyptian government and military along with a trio of New Jersey business associates and accomplices.

Fetterman called for Menendez to resign amid criminal allegations

Fox News reported that Sen. Fetterman, in reaction to the initial indictment of Sen. Menendez in September, had said in a statement, "Senator Menendez should resign."

"He’s entitled to the presumption of innocence under our system, but he is not entitled to continue to wield influence over national policy, especially given the serious and specific nature of the allegations," he added at that time. "I hope he chooses an honorable exit and focuses on his trial."

Menendez has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing and defied the demands that he resign from the Senate, though he did step down from the powerful chairmanship he previously held of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Fetterman says Menendez should be expelled from Senate

Fetterman continued to call on Menendez to resign and stepped that up to include talk of expulsion from the Senate if he refused to leave voluntarily during an appearance in December on ABC's "The View" that happened to coincide with the expulsion from the House of ex-Rep. George Santos (R-NY) amid an outcry over his alleged dishonesty and fraud, for which he was also criminally indicted.

The Pennsylvania senator told the program's co-hosts, "But to me, I think the more important picture is that we have a colleague in the Senate that has actually did more sinister and serious kinds of things. Sen. Menendez. He needs to go."

"And if you are going to expel Santos, how can you allow somebody like Menendez to remain in the Senate?" he added. "And you know, Santos’ lies were almost funny, and like he, you know, landed on the moon. That kinda stuff. Whereas, you know, Menendez, I think is really a senator for Egypt, not New Jersey."

Menendez attorney dismisses new charges as "desperation" and "persecution"

Fox News reported that Sen. Menendez's attorney, Adam Fee, said in a statement that the new criminal indictment had a "stink of desperation" on the part of federal prosecutors and said, "Despite what they’ve touted in press releases, the government does not have the proof to back up any of the old or new allegations against Senator Menendez."

"What they have instead is a string of baseless assumptions and bizarre conjectures based on routine, lawful contacts between a senator and his constituents or foreign officials," the lawyer added. "They are turning this into a persecution, not a prosecution."

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