The Potluck

Klobuchar now calling for Menendez to resign, joining growing Senate Democratic chorus

By: - September 26, 2023 12:06 pm

Sen. Bob Menendez was charged with conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, and conspiracy to commit extortion. Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, after stopping just short of calling for the resignation of U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez a day ago, now says he should step down, the Star Tribune reported Tuesday.

Menendez has been charged with multiple bribery-related crimes by the U.S. Department of Justice. Federal prosecutors say Menendez accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bribes from Wael Hana, a longtime friend with ties to Egyptian officials, as well as New Jersey businessmen Fred Daibes and Jose Uribe, longtime Menendez donors.

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith called the charges “serious” in a statement Monday but added,  “Everyone is entitled to due process.” Smith tested positive for COVID-19 and is waiting to return to Washington.

The tide appears to be turning against Menendez after he received some support from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer after the Friday indictment. The Washington Post reported that in rapid succession Tuesday morning before the Senate chamber gaveled in, more than a dozen senators issued statements calling on Menendez to resign, most crucially his New Jersey Democratic colleague, Sen. Cory Booker.

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J. Patrick Coolican
J. Patrick Coolican

J. Patrick Coolican is Editor-in-Chief of Minnesota Reformer. Previously, he was a Capitol reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune for five years, after a Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan and time at the Las Vegas Sun, Seattle Times and a few other stops along the way. He lives in St. Paul with his wife and two young children