Assembly Republican Leader John DiMaio (R-23) this morning called on Democrats to act on replacing Senator Robert Menendez after his federal indictment for bribery, fraud and extortion charges.“Democrats say Bob Menendez should step down, but what are they going to do to get him to step down?” DiMaio said. “Governor Murphy should announce a successor, or at least provide a public list of candidates he would appoint from, to force him out of office.”
“The allegations in the indictment against Senator Menendez and four other defendants are deeply disturbing,” the governor said Friday in response to the bribery conspiracy charges the feds unloaded on Menendez. “These are serious charges that implicate national security and the integrity of our criminal justice system. Under our legal system, Senator Menendez and the other defendants have not been found guilty and will have the ability to present evidence disputing these charges, and we must respect the process. However, the alleged facts are so serious that they compromise the ability of Senator Menendez to effectively represent the people of our state. Therefore, I am calling for his immediate resignation.”
Refusing to budge, Menendez shot back, “Those who believe in justice believe in innocence until proven guilty. I intend to continue to fight for the people of New Jersey with the same success I’ve had for the past five decades. This is the same record of success these very same leaders have lauded all along. It is not lost on me how quickly some are rushing to judge a Latino and push him out of his seat. I am not going anywhere.”
Now, as Democrats wring their hands behind the scenes, New Jersey’s senior senator appears on track to imminently announce his 2024 reelection bid.