6th Senate Democrat calls on Menendez to resign after bribery indictment
Why it matters: Menendez has defied growing calls to resign from lawmakers, including a number of House Democrats and leading New Jersey Democrats.
- Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Montana Sen. Jon Tester and Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey on Tuesday all called for his resignation.
Driving the news: Tester described the charges against Menendez as "deeply disturbing."
- "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," Tester said.
- Baldwin said that the indictment "spells out deeply troubling allegations" against Menendez that "breach the American people's trust and compromise his ability to effectively represent his constituents."
- "While Senator Menendez enjoys the presumption of innocence until proven guilty and will have his day in court to defend himself, I believe it's best for his constituents, the American people, and our national security for the Senator to step down," Baldwin said.
State of play: Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) both called for Menendez's resignation on Monday. Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) called for the embattled New Jersey lawmaker to step down over the weekend.
- Brown said in a statement that Menendez "has broken the public trust and should resign from the U.S. Senate."
- Joining those calls on Monday evening, Welch said in a statement that Menendez was "entitled to the presumption of innocence," but "the people of New Jersey and the U.S. Senate were entitled to an "effective" senator.
The big picture: Menendez defended himself Monday during his first public appearance since the indictment and said that he believes he will be exonerated.
- "The allegations leveled against me are just that — allegations," Menendez said.
Zoom in: More than half of the Democrats in New Jersey's congressional delegation and several leading New Jersey Democrats, including New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, have all called for Menendez to resign.
- Menendez and his wife, Nadine Menendez, were charged Friday with conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right.
- He is scheduled to appear in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday.
Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from Sen. Peter Welch, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Sen. Jon Tester and Sen. Bob Casey.