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All eyes on NJ Gov Murphy if Menendez changes course and resigns unexpectedly

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New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez and his wife are facing corruption and bribery charges that have led to amplified calls for the senior Democrat to resign from the Senate.

Menendez, however, has remained defiant. During a Monday morning press conference, he said he believes he will be exonerated and remain in Congress’s upper chamber. However, if he were to unexpectedly resign, all eyes would be on New Jersey Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy.

Federal prosecutors unsealed charges against Menendez, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and his wife, Nadine Menendez, on Friday that include accusations that he benefited the government of Egypt and engaged in a corrupt scheme alongside Fred Daibes, a New Jersey real estate developer; Wael Hana, who runs a halal meat certification business in the state; and businessman Jose Uribe.

Menendez has since encountered growing calls to resign from within his own political party. New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez said she believes it is in the “best interest” for Menendez to resign. Gov. Murphy also said he believes Menendez should give up his Senate spot.

5 EXPLOSIVE REVELATIONS FROM DEM SEN BOB MENENDEZ’S BOMBSHELL FEDERAL INDICTMENT

Sen. Bob Menendez is facing growing calls to resign following corruption charges. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

“The alleged facts are so serious that they compromise the ability of Senator Menendez to effectively represent the people of our state,” Murphy said in a statement.

If Menendez were to change course and resign, Murphy would appoint someone to fill his Senate seat until the term ends in January 2025. 

Speculation has swirled that if this scenario unfolded, Murphy would likely pick either Rep. Andy Kim or Rep. Mikie Sherrill, both Democrats, given they would make history, as the New Jersey Globe reported.

Kim would be the first Asian American senator, while Sherrill would be New Jersey’s first female senator. 

Kim, meanwhile, announced Saturday that he is running against Menendez in the state’s Democratic primary. Menendez has maintained that he is not going anywhere.

“Those who believe in justice believe in innocence until proven guilty,” Menendez previously said. “I intend to continue to fight for the people of New Jersey with the same success I’ve had for the past five decades.”

“This is the same record of success these very same leaders have lauded all along,” he continued. “It is not lost on me how quickly some are rushing to judge a Latino and push him out of his seat. I am not going anywhere.”

DEMOCRATIC SEN BOB MENENDEZ STEPS DOWN ‘TEMPORARILY’ AS CHAIRMAN OF SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE

Menendez and Kim split

Sen. Bob Menendez, left, facing a federal corruption indictment, is being challenged in the 2024 Democratic primary by Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J. (Getty Images )

The federal indictment alleges that Menendez used his power and influence serving in the U.S. Senate to enter into a scheme that ultimately benefited the Egyptian government. It stated that the lawmaker and his wife accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes “to seek to protect and enrich” Daibes, Hana and Uribe.

The bribes included cash, gold bars, home mortgage payments, compensation for no-show jobs, a luxury vehicle and “other things of value,” according to the indictment.

Evidence photos included in the indictment charging Senator Robert Menendez and Nadine Menendez with bribery.

An evidence photo shows envelopes of cash found in Democratic New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez’s home. A federal indictment was unsealed on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, charging Senator Menendez and his wife – along with three New Jersey businessmen – with bribery offenses relating to alleged efforts to utilize his political position to aid the Arab Republic of Egypt. (United States District Court )

CLICK TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

In a statement following the indictment, Menendez denied any wrongdoing and said forces “behind the scenes” are working to silence him and dig his “political grave.” 

He added that his behavior laid out in the indictment was all well within his office’s authority.

“Since this investigation was leaked nearly a year ago there has been an active smear campaign of anonymous sources and innuendoes to create an air of impropriety where none exists,” he said.

Fox News Digital’s Thomas Catenacci contributed to this report.




New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez and his wife are facing corruption and bribery charges that have led to amplified calls for the senior Democrat to resign from the Senate.

Menendez, however, has remained defiant. During a Monday morning press conference, he said he believes he will be exonerated and remain in Congress’s upper chamber. However, if he were to unexpectedly resign, all eyes would be on New Jersey Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy.

Federal prosecutors unsealed charges against Menendez, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and his wife, Nadine Menendez, on Friday that include accusations that he benefited the government of Egypt and engaged in a corrupt scheme alongside Fred Daibes, a New Jersey real estate developer; Wael Hana, who runs a halal meat certification business in the state; and businessman Jose Uribe.

Menendez has since encountered growing calls to resign from within his own political party. New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez said she believes it is in the “best interest” for Menendez to resign. Gov. Murphy also said he believes Menendez should give up his Senate spot.

5 EXPLOSIVE REVELATIONS FROM DEM SEN BOB MENENDEZ’S BOMBSHELL FEDERAL INDICTMENT

Bob Menendez Sept 12

Sen. Bob Menendez is facing growing calls to resign following corruption charges. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

“The alleged facts are so serious that they compromise the ability of Senator Menendez to effectively represent the people of our state,” Murphy said in a statement.

If Menendez were to change course and resign, Murphy would appoint someone to fill his Senate seat until the term ends in January 2025. 

Speculation has swirled that if this scenario unfolded, Murphy would likely pick either Rep. Andy Kim or Rep. Mikie Sherrill, both Democrats, given they would make history, as the New Jersey Globe reported.

Kim would be the first Asian American senator, while Sherrill would be New Jersey’s first female senator. 

Kim, meanwhile, announced Saturday that he is running against Menendez in the state’s Democratic primary. Menendez has maintained that he is not going anywhere.

“Those who believe in justice believe in innocence until proven guilty,” Menendez previously said. “I intend to continue to fight for the people of New Jersey with the same success I’ve had for the past five decades.”

“This is the same record of success these very same leaders have lauded all along,” he continued. “It is not lost on me how quickly some are rushing to judge a Latino and push him out of his seat. I am not going anywhere.”

DEMOCRATIC SEN BOB MENENDEZ STEPS DOWN ‘TEMPORARILY’ AS CHAIRMAN OF SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE

Menendez and Kim split

Sen. Bob Menendez, left, facing a federal corruption indictment, is being challenged in the 2024 Democratic primary by Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J. (Getty Images )

The federal indictment alleges that Menendez used his power and influence serving in the U.S. Senate to enter into a scheme that ultimately benefited the Egyptian government. It stated that the lawmaker and his wife accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes “to seek to protect and enrich” Daibes, Hana and Uribe.

The bribes included cash, gold bars, home mortgage payments, compensation for no-show jobs, a luxury vehicle and “other things of value,” according to the indictment.

Evidence photos included in the indictment charging Senator Robert Menendez and Nadine Menendez with bribery.

An evidence photo shows envelopes of cash found in Democratic New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez’s home. A federal indictment was unsealed on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, charging Senator Menendez and his wife – along with three New Jersey businessmen – with bribery offenses relating to alleged efforts to utilize his political position to aid the Arab Republic of Egypt. (United States District Court )

CLICK TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

In a statement following the indictment, Menendez denied any wrongdoing and said forces “behind the scenes” are working to silence him and dig his “political grave.” 

He added that his behavior laid out in the indictment was all well within his office’s authority.

“Since this investigation was leaked nearly a year ago there has been an active smear campaign of anonymous sources and innuendoes to create an air of impropriety where none exists,” he said.

Fox News Digital’s Thomas Catenacci contributed to this report.

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