Hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, gold, a luxury car: Bob Menendez is said to have enriched himself in office. He sees himself as a victim of a campaign – and wants to remain a US senator despite being charged.
US Senator Bob Menendez, who has been accused of corruption, does not want to resign from his position as senator. “The allegations made against me are just one thing: allegations,” the 69-year-old Democrat said at a press conference. The presumption of innocence also applies to him. He asked the public to wait until all the facts were known. He was sure that these relieved him. Menendez is facing calls to resign after charges were filed against him and his wife last Friday.
The public prosecutor’s office accuses the senator, among other things, of favoring the Egyptian government and obtaining personal benefits in return. Investigators had found around 500,000 US dollars (around 469,000 euros) in cash – hidden in envelopes and in the senator’s jackets, as the public prosecutor’s office announced. There was also talk of a “lot of gold” and a “luxury car”. The indictment alleges that Menendez and his wife accepted bribes from businessmen. Both denied the allegations.
Governor concerned about integrity of legal system
Phil Murphy, the governor of New Jersey and also a Democrat, called the allegations against Menendez “so serious” that his party colleague could not remain in office. These are serious allegations that affect national security and the integrity of the legal system. Menendez will rest his position as chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee until the matter is resolved, the Democratic leadership in the US Senate announced after the indictment became known.
Democratic President Joe Biden’s spokeswoman, Karine Jean-Pierre, spoke of a “serious matter.” It is correct for the senator to temporarily suspend his chairmanship of the committee. As for everything else, the decision rests with Menendez and the leadership in the Senate.
Menendez, who has represented the US state of New Jersey in the Senate since 2006, today once again portrayed himself as a victim of a campaign. Regarding the cash found on him, Menendez said that he had withdrawn thousands of dollars from his personal account for decades – for emergencies and due to his family’s history of facing confiscation of funds in Cuba.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.