On Friday, the Justice Department announced that Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), along with his wife and three other associates, had been criminally indicted on conspiracy charges related to bribery, fraud, and extortion.
A growing number of his fellow Democrats have since called upon Menendez to resign from his seat in the U.S. Senate, and that list now includes former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), according to Breitbart.
In doing so, however, Pelosi also predictably sought to shift attention toward her Republican rivals and asserted that the same standard of resignation following criminal indictment should be applied to a GOP member of the House who has also previously been indicted by the DOJ.
Former Speaker Pelosi appeared Monday for an interview on MSNBC's "Inside with Jen Psaki" to discuss a range of issues that briefly included the indictment of Sen. Menendez and the Democratic chorus demanding his resignation.
"Several House Democrats along with New Jersey’s Governor Phil Murphy have all called on Senator Menendez to resign," former White House press secretary turned cable news host Psaki said. "Do you think he should resign?"
"I respect their position they are taking, and the charges are formidable," Pelosi replied.
"If, in fact, we are going to say that if you’re indicted, you should resign, we have a situation in the House, as you know, from the state of New York, that would hold to," she continued in subtle reference to a criminal indictment for fraud and money laundering faced by Rep. George Santos (R-NY).
"But right now, sadly, because of the challenges that we face, because the skepticism that exists in our country about governance, about this Republican Party that doesn't believe in governance, doesn’t believe in science, so, wants to take down everything in order to give tax breaks to the wealthiest. We’ve got to stay focused on that," Pelosi added, "And for that reason, it probably would be a good idea if he did resign."
Fox News reported that former Speaker Pelosi's suggestion that it would be a "good idea" for the criminally indicted Sen. Menendez to resign places her in line with well more than a dozen other House Democrats and Democratic state legislators and officials, including New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, who have issued similar demands.
Joining them are more than a half-dozen Democratic senators who have similarly called for their colleague to step down, including Menendez's junior partner in the Senate from New Jersey, Cory Booker.
Those demands have gone unheeded, at least for now, as Menendez has vociferously asserted his innocence and insisted that he has no intentions of resigning -- though he did agree to step aside from his rather influential role as chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, undoubtedly in relation to the fact that the charges against him include allegations that he improperly used his influence and power to help benefit the Egyptian government and military.
A separate report from Breitbart took note of the "avalanche" of resignation calls from his fellow Democrats that Sen. Menendez was now facing but ignoring.
Some of the senators demanding the resignation of Menendez also face a problem of their own in that they have in the past accepted campaign donations from the now-indicted senator accused of enriching himself with hundreds of thousands of dollars through bribes, fraud, and extortion -- though some of those senators are also now either returning the contributions back to Menendez or making ostensibly similar donations of their own elsewhere as a virtue signal.
Whether the embattled senior senator from New Jersey will eventually heed the calls of his colleagues and resign his elected office -- or if he will defiantly remain unless or until he is convicted and forcibly removed -- is something that remains to be seen.