N.J. Sen. Booker: Menendez Should Step Down

On Tuesday, Sen. Cory Booker expressed that his colleague, New Jersey Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez, should consider stepping down in light of the recent federal bribery indictments against him.

Booker shared his thoughts via social media, commenting, “The charges against Senator Menendez are grave, and they’ve certainly raised questions about the trust the people of New Jersey and his peers have in him.”

“While Senator Menendez remains resolute in defending his innocence and has no intention of resigning, I feel that such a decision might be misguided,” remarked Booker.

Booker elaborated, saying that “Choosing to step aside isn’t necessarily conceding guilt. It can be a recognition that public service sometimes requires significant personal sacrifices.”

“I think such a move would be in the best interests of the people Senator Menendez has dedicated his career to serving,” emphasized Booker.

Responding to the charges, Menendez clarified on Monday that the significant amount of money found in his residence was his own savings, kept for emergencies, and not bribes. As the prominent head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Menendez is confident of being acquitted from accusations of accepting illicit cash and gold to provide favors to Egypt and associates in New Jersey.

It’s worth noting that in 2015, Menendez faced similar charges in New Jersey for allegedly colluding with a prosperous ophthalmologist, exchanging political services for nearly $1 million worth of gifts, as noted by The New York Times. However, the trial in 2017 did not lead to a conviction.

Booker, in his statement, confessed, “It’s challenging to align these charges with the Senator Menendez I’ve come to know.”

He added, “Menendez’s resolve to fight these allegations is consistent with his character. It remains imperative to remember that he’s entitled to the presumption of innocence, as everyone is. The final judgment of his criminal guilt will be in the hands of a jury.”