(Bloomberg) -- Four Democratic senators facing tough reelections are demanding Senator Robert Menendez resign even as the embattled New Jersey Democrat insists he’ll remain in office as he fights federal corruption charges.
The calls from Senators Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Jon Tester of Montana, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Jacky Rosen of Nevada highlight the politically precarious situation the Menendez indictment creates for Democrats ahead of the 2024 election.
Donald Trump’s multiple indictments have become central to Democrats’ campaigns against the former president and GOP frontrunner — as well as his GOP allies on Capitol Hill.
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a leading Democratic progressive, also joined the calls for Menendez’s resignation on Tuesday.
Three other Democratic senators — Peter Welch of Vermont, John Fetterman of Pennsylvania and Sherrod Brown of Ohio — have already implored the New Jersey senator to step aside.
“I’ve read the detailed charges against Senator Menendez and find them deeply disturbing,” Tester said. “While he deserves a fair trial like every other American, I believe Senator Menendez should resign for the sake of the public’s faith in the U.S. Senate.”
Baldwin said last week’s indictment “spells out deeply troubling allegations against Senator Menendez that breach the American people’s trust and compromise his ability to effectively represent his constituents.”
The Justice Department alleges Menendez and his wife, Nadine, accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from three businessmen, including $550,000 in cash, gold bullion and a Mercedes Benz. In June 2022, US agents raided a safe deposit box and the Menendez home, finding cash stuffed in envelopes, closets and a safe.
Menendez on Monday vowed to fight corruption charges and keep his US Senate seat.
“I firmly believe when all the facts are presented I will not only be exonerated, I will still be New Jersey’s senior senator,” the senator told reporters in New Jersey. “Prosecutors get it wrong sometimes. Unfortunately, I know that.”
(Updates with Jacky Rosen joining calls beginning with first paragraph)
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