Governor Phil Murphy this evening issued the following statement about indicted U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez:
“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.
The statewide staple of Democratic Party politics in New Jersey going back to 2006, powerful chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, U.S. Sen. Menendez of New Jersey and his wife Nadine have been indicted in New York on federal bribery charges related to an allegedly corrupt relationship with three businessmen to benefit Egypt, according to CNBC.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan scheduled a press conference for 11 a.m. ET Friday to discuss the indictment.
At that press conference this morning, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams of the Southern District of New York laid out the three-count indictment.
“He used his power and influence, including his leadership role on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to benefit the government of Egypt in various ways,” Williams said of New Jersey’s senior senator.
Menendez allegedly provided sensitive U.S. government material to Egyptian officials.