HUDSON COUNTY, N.J. (PIX11) – New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez announced Monday that he does not plan to resign despite being indicted on bribery charges.
Menendez made the announcement during a news conference at Hudson County Community College in Union City.
He was supposed to appear at a Hispanic Heritage Month celebration Sunday at Union City High School, but the event was canceled just hours before without an explanation. Broadway star Lin Manuel-Miranda was expected to make an appearance at the event.
Menendez and his wife, Nadine Arslanian Menendez, allegedly received a Mercedes-Benz, bricks of gold and cash in exchange for crimes they carried out that endangered the security and interests of the U.S., according to a 39-page indictment from the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. The couple is facing a slew of charges including bribery, fraud and extortion.
“Remember, prosecutors get it wrong sometimes. Sadly, I know that,” Menendez said. “For 30 years, I have withdrawn thousands of dollars in cash from my personal savings account, which I have kept for emergencies and because of the history of my family facing confiscation in Cuba. Now this may seem old-fashioned, but these were monies drawn from my personal savings account based on the income that I have lawfully derived.”
Menendez offered no explanation of the gold, the car, and other allegedly ill-gotten gains. The senator didn’t take any questions from reporters on Monday.
This is the second time Menendez has been indicted for bribery. A case against him was dropped by a judge in 2017 due to a hung jury.
Menendez also released a statement saying in part, “The facts are not as presented. Prosecutors did that the last time and look at what a trial demonstrates.”
Fellow Democrats are calling for Menendez to resign, including New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. Menendez previously said he doesn’t plan to resign. Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ 3rd District) posted on social media that he feels compelled to run against Menendez following the indictment.
The U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, Phil Sellinger, recused himself from the case because he was recommended to President Joe Biden by Menendez. The case is being handled in New York as a result.