The following is a full statement issued this evening by Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) in response to calls by party leaders (including Governor Phil Murphy) for his resignation:
“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.”
“The allegations in the indictment against Senator Menendez and four other defendants are deeply disturbing. 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.”
The state’s Democratic Party establishment followed, starting with Democratic State Party Chairman LeRoy Jones.
Statements poured forth, everyone from Speaker Craig Coughlin to Senate President Nick Scutari, to Middlesex County Democratic Chairman Kevin McCabe, to Passaic County Democratic Committee Chairman John Currie.
They all demanded Menendez’s resignation.
Hudson stayed quiet for the moment.
So did other county leaders.
But Jones has called for a county chairs meeting to convene Saturday morning at which time sources expect the rest – or most of the rest – of the Democratic Party’s leaders to fold in and demand Menendez’s resignation.