House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) joins a growing list of lawmakers calling on Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) to resign following his indictment this week.
Both Menendez and his wife were charged with bribery for allegedly accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars and a Mercedes-Benz convertible as bribes in return for the use of the senator’s influence to enrich three New Jersey businessmen and benefit the Egyptian government, according to the indictment.
McCarthy called the allegations against Menendez “very damaging” and said the evidence prosecutors presented “seems pretty black and white,” The Hill reported.
McCarthy joins a growing list of Democrats in New Jersey and on Capitol Hill calling for Menendez, who is up for re-election in 2024, to step aside after his indictment.
But, McCarthy does not always believe that an indicted candidate should bow out.
McCarthy led House Republicans rushing to defend Trump after the former president’s four indictments. He slammed the indictments as partisan efforts to undermine Trump’s re-election bid.
After Trump’s indictment in New York for alleged hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, McCarthy called it a “weaponization of the federal justice process” and said it was “not a real case.” After Trump’s indictment for alleged mishandling of classified documents, McCarthy said House Republicans “will hold this brazen weaponization of power accountable.”
After Trump’s indictment in Georgia for efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the state, McCarthy wrote on Twitter: “Biden has weaponized government against his leading political opponent to interfere in the 2024 election. Now a radical DA in Georgia is following Biden’s lead by attacking President Trump and using it to fundraise her political career. Americans see through this desperate sham.”
In a statement Friday Menendez rejected calls to resign.
“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,” Menendez said. “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.”