Sen. Cory Booker wants his colleague, Sen. Bob Menendez, to resign from the U.S. Senate after facing a lengthy indictment that alleges political corruption. The two Democrats both serve the state of New Jersey in the Senate.
In a statement, Booker noted he's having a difficult time reconciling the federal charges with the person he has come to know. Booker said he believes Menendez deserves the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, but added that there should be a higher standard for people who hold public office.
"As senators, we operate in the public trust," Booker said. "That trust is essential to our ability to do our work and perform our duties for our constituents."
My statement on Senator Robert Menendez. pic.twitter.com/h7WY9EWwUz
— Sen. Cory Booker (@SenBooker) September 26, 2023
Booker's call for Menendez to resign is a major blow for the senior senator. Booker was a character witness for Menendez at his previous corruption trial, which ended in a hung jury.
Several other Democratic senators have called for Menendez to resign. They include Sen. John Fetterman, Sen. Bob Casey and Sen. Sherrod Brown.
Menendez has remained defiant in the face of those calls. He held a press conference on Monday, stating that he will fight the charges, remain in the Senate and run again in 2024.
The senator is charged with three federal crimes: conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and conspiracy to commit extortion. Prosecutors claim he used his influence as a senator to secure cash and gold bars, which were reportedly found hidden at his home.
Menendez and his wife, who was also indicted, are scheduled to appear in federal court on Wednesday.
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