Menendez to address Senate Democrats as most of them urge he resign after bribery charges

Senator Bob Menendez and his wife Nadine Menendez (not seen) depart a Manhattan court after they were arraigned on federal bribery charges in New York, September 27, 2023.

Fatih Aktas | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey plans to speak privately Thursday to fellow Senate Democrats as more than half of their 51-member caucus has called for his resignation over bribery allegations.

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York has yet to ask Menendez to quit.

But Schumer told reporters Wednesday, “We’ll see what happens after” Menendez speaks to the caucus at a closed-door lunch on Capitol Hill.

Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania, who was the first Democrat to call for Menedez to step down, in a social media post on Thursday wrote, “Unless Senator Menendez is coming today to resign, I am not interested in hearing his ‘explanation’ for gold bars stashed in a mattress.”

Menendez, 69, last week was charged with conspiracy to commit bribery and other charges with his wife, Nadine, and three New Jersey businessmen.

The couple pleaded not guilty Wednesday to the charges in federal court in Manhattan.

Prosecutors have said a raid on their house last year found gold bars, hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, and a Mercedes-Benz convertible that they allegedly received in exchange for Menendez using his influence to try to help the three men.

The senator has repeatedly said he does not plan to resign.

Twenty-nine Democratic senators, and Vermont independent Bernie Sanders, who caucuses with them, have urged Menedez to step down.

Among them are Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Senate majority whip, as well third-ranking Democrat Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Patty Murray, the Senate President Pro Tempore.

This is developing news. Please check back for updates.

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