Embattled NJ Sen. Bob Menendez Announces He Will NOT Run in Dem Primary Amid Corruption Charges



Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ)—sometimes referred to as “Gold Bar Bob” because of accusations he accepted gold, cash, and luxury cars from three businessmen he improperly helped—announced Thursday that he will not run in the NJ Democrat primary, although he refused to rule out running as an independent.

In a nearly 10-minute video posted to social media, he still maintained his innocence despite the many charges against him, which include conspiracy, conspiring to commit bribery, honest services fraud, extortion, and acting as an unregistered foreign agent. 

He wrote that given the charges, he’s unable to adequately campaign:

Unfortunately the present accusations I am facing of which I am innocent and will prove so, will not allow me to have that type of dialog and debate with political opponents that have already made it the cornerstone of their campaign.

Therefore I will not file for the Democratic primary this June.

I am hopeful that my exoneration will take place this summer and allow me to pursue my candidacy as an independent Democrat in the general election.

Menenendez has thus far refused to resign despite numerous calls for him to do so, and he faces a long prison term if convicted of the federal charges against him.


See also:

Sen. Bob Menendez’s Potential Prison Sentence Just Got Even Longer

Hammer Readies to Drop on Sen. Bob Menendez, As Co-Defendant Pleads Guilty

Latest Development in the Bob Menendez Case Indicates Just How Far His Alleged Corruption Goes


Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) is among those who have been highly critical of the N.J. senator and has called for his ouster. “We should have chucked that sleazeball long ago,” he told CNN in January. He even backed a resolution that would ban lawmakers who are indicted on national security matters from attending classified briefings.

The charges against Menendez and his wife are pretty serious:

In September, Menendez and his wife Nadine were charged separately in a scheme where they aided three New Jersey businessmen in return for cash, gold bars and a luxury car. 

Authorities who searched the Menendez home found more than $100,000 worth of gold bars in the residence, as well as more than $480,000 in cash, which was hidden away in closets, amongst clothing and in a safe, prosecutors said. 

Prosecutors also said that Menendez had Googled the value of a ‘kilo of gold.’ 

He pleaded for understanding in his video message:

I know many of you are hurt and disappointed in me with the accusations I’m facing. 

Believe me, I am disappointed in the false accusations as well. All I can ask of you is to withhold judgment until justice takes place. 

The Democrats are unlikely to lose the seat in the Senate since New Jersey skews heavily blue, but if Menendez does run as an independent, it could make things more interesting. However, his poll numbers in January—before this announcement—were in the tank and unless there’s a dramatic shift of opinion, his chances at winning wouldn’t look good.

This might be the end of the line for Bob Menendez’s checkered Senate career.





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