U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) is not having the greatest year, to say the least. It's absolutely insane that he hasn't resigned at this point.
According to the Associated Press, the New Jersey Democrat was hammered with more serious legal problems after he was charged Thursday with "conspiring for years to act as an agent of the Egyptian government while he held a powerful role in shaping U.S. foreign policy."
The indictment, which was superseding, accuses Menendez of violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
It's bad enough when a non-politician is accused of such crimes, but given the New Jersey senator's powerful Senate position, it's markedly worse, as members of Congress aren't allowed to operate as foreign agents even if they were doing it legally.
The AP noted:
The new charge comes weeks after Menendez and his wife were accused of accepting bribes of cash, gold bars and a luxury car from three New Jersey businessmen who wanted the senator’s help and influence over foreign affairs.
— New York Post (@nypost) October 12, 2023
In the indictment, prosecutors accuse Menendez of operating as a foreign agent for Egypt from 2018 through 2022.
Prosecutors alleged he "promised to take and took a series of acts on behalf of Egypt, including on behalf of Egyptian military and intelligence officials."
Multiple high-profile Democrats have called for his resignation, including Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA). Fetterman renewed that call last week after the superseding charge was announced.
🚨 BREAKING: John Fetterman calls for Bob Menendez to be expelled from the Senate after new superseding indictment: “We cannot have an alleged foreign agent in the United States Senate”
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) October 12, 2023
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has yet to call on Menendez to resign. Big surprise there.
As a result, it's doubtful that any votes to expel Menendez from Congress will happen before his trial.
Menendez, in the wake of the new charge, immediately went on the defense, saying the indictment "flies in the face of my long record of standing up for human rights and democracy in Egypt and in challenging leaders of that country, including President (Fattah) El-Sisi on these issues."
"I have been, throughout my life, loyal to only one country — the United States of America, the land my family chose to live in democracy and freedom," Menendez added. "Piling new charge upon new charge does not make the allegations true. ... I again ask people who know me and my record to give me the chance to present my defense and show my innocence."