Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) was indicted on federal corruption and bribery charges on Sunday, but Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) refrained from calling for his resignation.
Durbin stated that although the accusations are “very serious,” Menendez is entitled to the assumption of innocence and that the choice of whether to resign must be made by Menendez and his constituents during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Dana Bash.
“This charge is really serious. There is no doubt in my mind. When asked if Menendez should step down, Durbin responded, “But it bears reminding us of what I’ve said about the indictments against Donald Trump, which are equally significant accusations. These are indictments that need to be supported by evidence. A person who is accused has the right to the presumption of innocent under the rule of law. And the government is obligated to support that claim.
That’s what I said about Donald Trump. Regarding the four criminal charges that the former president of the United States is dealing with, Durbin stated, “I’ll say the same thing about Bob Menendez.
Menendez resigned from his position as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, according to Durbin, but “In terms of resignation, that’s a decision to be made by Senator Menendez and the people of New Jersey.”
Durbin responded, “Well, I can tell you that it’s an important event, plainly it is, when asked if Menendez should seek for reelection. Furthermore, it is unknown if he will seek reelection.
A damning indictment revealed Menendez and his wife accepted “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in bribes to support three New Jersey businessmen and interests in Egypt, prompting other House and Senate Democrats, the state’s governor, and the party chair to call for Menendez to resign from his position.