On Thursday, Senator John Fetterman made his campaign against Senator Bob Menendez official after introducing a resolution to sanction the New Jersey senator, who was indicted on bribery charges in September.
Fetterman had previously called on Menendez to resign shortly after he was indicted over a month ago, but, Menendez claimed he didn’t do anything wrong and refused to step down.
John Fetterman on Bob Menendez: "He's got to go. .. That arrogance, where he's now saying, 'I'm not going anywhere,' it's like, my dude, you are going somewhere. It's going to be an election or it's going to be a conviction, or you have the opportunity for an honorable exit." pic.twitter.com/JkEHrRojSn
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) September 28, 2023
From The Hill:
“When you find gold bars stuffed in a mattress, the jokes write themselves. But our national security isn’t funny, it’s often life or death,” Fetterman said in a statement.
The sanctions proposed in the resolution would automatically strip any Senator indicted on charges of mishandling classified information, acting as a foreign agent, or compromising national security of their committee assignments and access to classified information.
Menendez was indicted in September on bribery charges accusing him and his wife of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, gold, and other gifts in order to act on behalf of interests in Egypt.
“The Senate has an obligation to its constituents and this country to do everything it can to protect national security, and that means making sure that senators who are currently indicted for acting as agents of foreign powers don’t have access to our most sensitive national secrets,” Fetterman continued. “If an indicted senator doesn’t have the guts or basic decency to step down, the Senate must act to protect national security and the institution itself.”
In addition to being the first Senator to call on Menendez to resign, Fetterman also led the charge to expel Menendez from the Senate after the senator’s indictment was amended last month, adding the foreign agent charge.
Sen FETTERMAN calls on the Senate to vote to expel Sen Menendez following new charges.
Fetterman: “We cannot have an alleged foreign agent in the United States Senate.
“This is not a close call.”
Expulsion required 2/3rds majority. pic.twitter.com/lqpzcJlHCx
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) October 12, 2023
NEW: Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown is calling on Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) to resign.
He is the second Senate Democrat to call for his resignation after Sen. John Fetterman (Pa.). pic.twitter.com/sixdhgCfkG
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) September 25, 2023
Despite the indictment against him and the calls for him to step down, Menendez has continued to attend classified briefings and sit as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
In line with Democratic Caucus rules, he stepped down as chair of that committee.
“Bottom line is, I’m a United States senator. I have my security credentials. And an accusation is just that: It’s not proof of anything,” Menendez said Wednesday.