Menendez won’t attend classified Israel briefing as many call for his resignation
Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., will not attend a classified briefing on Israel Wednesday as pressure builds for him to resign in the wake of a new indictment. New Jersey’s senior Senator is now accused of conspiring to act as a foreign agent on behalf of Egypt while he was Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.
“He’s not going to attend the briefing tomorrow,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told reporters.
“I’ve had private conversations. I don’t get involved in what happened in them on this kind of thing. He’s not attending.”
Menendez was first indicted in September and accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes, gold bars and a Mercedes in exchange for using his official position as Senator to help a group of New Jersey businessmen and the government of Egypt.
On Wednesday, all Senators will receive a classified briefing on Israel. When Menendez was the Foreign Relations Chairman, this would have been directly under his purview. Now, Senators are calling for his resignation.
“I think that Senator Menendez ought to make a decision about what is the right thing to do. I think he should resign. And I think he should resign before the briefing,”
Sen. Richard Blumenthal D-Conn., said.
“We’re getting into the, to the T word territory here. You know, where we’re trading secrets on behalf of a foreign nation. I mean that’s pretty serious stuff,” Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said.
New Jersey’s junior Senator, Cory Booker, has called on Menendez to resign but stopped short of saying he should be expelled.
“You’re asking a person that’s served with this guy for 10 years. Everything about this makes me feel uncomfortable. Having to call for his resignation makes me feel uncomfortable,” Booker told CNN’s Manu Raju.
More than 30 Senate Democrats are calling for Menendez to resign. New Jersey’s Democratic Governor Phil Murphy also called on the senator to step down.