Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has joined a slew of Democratic lawmakers calling for Sen. Robert Menendez’s resignation, saying “nation will be better served” if the embattled Senator steps aside.
Mr. Menendez, New Jersey Democrat, was indicted Friday on bribery charges. Since the news broke, the Senator has stepped down as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“As both a leader in the Democratic Party & the former Attorney General and given the nature of the charges, I call upon Senator Menendez to resign,” said Mr. Holder, who served as AG under former President Obama. “The nation will be better served if he steps aside and allows a transition to occur that will best serve the people of New Jersey.”
Federal prosecutors in New York charged Mr. Menendez with using his position in the Senate to secretly aid the nation of Egypt, and to provide benefits to a trio of associates — like interfering in criminal investigations — in exchange for money and other financial benefits for himself and his wife, Nadine.
A cohort of New Jersey lawmakers in the House have also joined New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, also a Democrat, in a push to get Mr. Menendez to resign.
Under New Jersey law, Mr. Murphy would be tasked with picking a replacement for Mr. Menendez should the indictment force him to resign. Mr. Menendez is also running for reelection in 2024.
“Senator Menendez is entitled to his day in court, but it’s very difficult to see how he can continue his service in the midst of these charges,” said Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey. “He should resign in the best interest of our state.”
Rep. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey said that the indictment was a sad day for the state.
“But given the gravity of these charges, I do not believe that Senator Menendez can continue to carry out the important duties of his office for our state,” Mr. Pascrell said.
Not every New Jersey Democrat in Congress has urged for Mr. Menendez’s resignation.
Rep. Robert Menendez Jr., Mr. Menendez’s son, is standing by his father.
“I have unwavering confidence in my father and his dedication to the New Jerseyans who he has relentlessly fought for in his long career as a public servant,” he said. “I strongly believe in his integrity and his values, and look forward to seeing him move past this distraction to continue fighting for our state in the United States Senate.”
“And it must also be said that in my life, I have seen countless detractors who refuse to believe a son of immigrants from Hudson County could rise to be one of one hundred and yet he’s constantly proven them wrong,” he continued. “And thankfully, those who know him and what he has stood for his entire career outnumber the naysayers.”
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