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How Many Senate Democrats Calling For Corrupt Bob Menendez's Resignation? Almost All Of Them, Katie!
Time to (finally) get the fuck out, Bob.
Slimeball Sen. Bob Menendez from New Jersey was indicted last week for bribery, corruption, and a not-so-secret plan to aid Egypt’s authoritarian government. He allegedly was paid off in gold bars and cash-stuffed envelopes like a common gangster. This is obviously bad, even for a US Senate with a relaxed dress code, but Menendez refuses to resign. That makes sense, considering the Senate is how he gets all his gold bars. You don’t want to kill the golden goose job.
Menendez claimed he was the true victim, a target of a “smear campaign” because his political opponents “simply cannot accept that a first generation Latin American from humble beginnings could rise to be a US senator.” No, I just can’t accept that anyone from anywhere would keep their bribe money stuffed in suit pockets, Goodfellas style. New Jersey deserves a corrupt senator with a brain in their head.
Monday, a defiant Menendez denied keeping gold bars around the house like a Bond villain but he did offer a comically absurd explanation for all that cash the cops found.
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“For 30 years, I have withdrawn thousands of dollars in cash from my personal savings account for emergencies and because of the history of my family facing confiscation in Cuba,” he said at a press conference in front of people who could see and hear him.
This story moved me to tears, and I could barely compose myself to conduct a quick Google search: Menendez was born in New York to Cuban immigrants in 1954, five years before Castro assumed military and political power in Cuba, but we’re sure the second-hand experience was traumatizing. Everyone has their own form of doomsday prep.
Menendez thinks we’re gullible enough to believe the $480,000 in cash found in his home came from his “personal savings.” Sure. He should’ve also offered to sell us some prime New Jersey bridges.
Rep. Andy Kim from New Jersey announced over the weekend that he would challenge Menendez for the Democratic Senate nomination next year. That’s admirable, considering Kim’s noted lack of cash-stuffed clothing. However, Menendez is credibly charged with crimes that make him unfit to serve another second in the Senate. He was forced step down as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but that’s not good enough. He should’ve resigned the day he was indicted, but since he appears to lack even the most minuscule amount of shame, it’s up to his Senate colleagues and political party to demand he GTFO.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy called for Menendez’s resignation on Friday, but it says a lot that the first Senate Democrat to publicly do so was ole hoodie himself, John Fetterman. He posted on Xitter Saturday: “[Menendez] is entitled to the presumption of innocence, but he cannot continue to wield influence over national policy, especially given the serious and specific nature of the allegations. I hope he chooses an honorable exit and focuses on his trial.” (Fetterman also plans to return Menendez’s donations to his campaign in cash-stuffed envelopes. Boom.)
(This led to a typically deranged post from burning cross in human form, Stephen Miller, who claimed that Fetterman’s post, which he “obviously didn’t write,” was all part of some conspiracy to remove “the head of Senate foreign relations,” which had already happened.)
There was some embarrassing hemming and hawing this weekend from Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, who rambled on CNN about Menendez’s “presumption of innocence.” However, a jury conviction obviously isn’t the required bar to remove a sitting senator, as Durbin well knows. Menendez doesn’t have a constitutional right to serve in the Senate — the very place where he’s alleged to have used his influence to commit crimes.
As of today’s writing, 17 Democratic senators have joined Fetterman and called for Menendez’s resignation: Cory Booker, Sherrod Brown, Peter Welch, Elizabeth Warren, Jon Tester, Bob Casey, Tammy Baldwin, Jacky Rosen, Martin Heinrich, Amy Klobuchar, Mark Kelly, Michael Bennet, Ed Markey, Kirsten Gillibrand (don’t even start in the comments), Mazie Hirono, Maggie Hassan, and Raphael Warnock.
Not sure what’s holding up the others, including (not a Dem) Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, who quickly defended Senate “decorum” from Fetterman’s shorts. In fairness, perhaps Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has coordinated a slow drip to keep this in the news and put the pressure on Menendez.
Meanwhile, Menendez maintains support from the strangest people.
Tom Cotton posted this morning: “Senator Menendez has a right to test the government’s evidence in court, just like any other citizen. He should be judged by jurors and New Jersey’s voters, not by Democratic politicians who now view him as inconvenient to their hold on power.”
It’s predictably cynical of Republicans to refuse to believe that Democrats might have honorable motivations for their actions. However, you can also appreciate why Republicans might not want to take the public position that a federal indictment alone disqualifies you from political office.
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