WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Pressure is growing from lawmakers for Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) to resign after his indictment Friday.
“The allegations leveled against me are just that, allegations,” Menendez said.
In his first event since his indictment, Menendez said he’s not stepping down.
“When all the facts are presented, not only will I be exonerated, but I still will be the New Jersey’s senior senator,” he said.
Federal prosecutors accuse the senator and his wife, Nadine, of accepting hundreds and thousands of dollars in bribes and gifts from New Jersey businessmen. Menendez said the cash didn’t come from anyone else.
“Now this may seem old-fashioned, but these were monies drawn from my personal savings account,” Menendez said.
Although Menendez wants to stay in office, some Democrats are calling on the Garden State senator to resign.
“I do believe that it is in the best interest for Sen. Menendez to resign in this moment,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said.
Ocasio-Cortez told CBS’ Face the Nation that the indictment is serious.
“I think what is here in this indictment is quite clear,” she said.
Menendez is up for re-election next year, and Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.) will now run against him, saying, “we cannot jeopardize the Senate or compromise our integrity.”
The White House did not comment Friday, but now said stepping down from his position as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was the right thing to do.
“As it relates to anything else, any decision that he has to make,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, “that’s certainly going to be up to him and the Senate leadership to decide.”