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Monday, September 11, 2017
Dem Senators Silent on Whether Menendez Should Resign if Convicted
The following article appeared on the
Free Beacon on September 7th
By Paul Crookston
Senate Democrats are steering clear
of Sen. Robert Menendez's federal corruption trial, not answering
questions on whether the New Jersey Democrat should resign if convicted.
Democrats have found various ways to
avoid answering whether Menendez should resign his position if convicted, and
some fear he may be found guilty but refuse to give up his seat, CNN reports. They are also aware
that if Menendez resigns before New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie leaves office in
January 2018, the Republican would choose a temporary replacement. How
long that successor would stay in office depends on how close the appointment would
come on the calendar to the state's next election.
Yeah, I'm F***ed!
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer
(D., N.Y.) and Democratic Sens. Jon Tester (Mont.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.),
Joe Manchin (W.Va.), and Ben Cardin (Md.) have all demurred when asked about
the possibility of a Menendez conviction.
"Senator Menendez is issuing a
spirited defense," Schumer said when asked if he would
stand by him during the trial. "We all believe in the presumption of
innocence in this country, and Senator Menendez is fighting very hard and we
respect that greatly."
Schumer later ignored a question
asking whether Menendez should resign if he is convicted. Federal prosecutors
allege Menendez took bribes for years and
attempted to cover it up, while using the power of his office to benefit a
"I think I'm not going to go
down that path," Cardin said in response to a question about the
possibility of a conviction. "Obviously we are all waiting to
see what happens with the outcome of that."
"Hopefully this will come to an
end," Cardin added.
That hope is shared by Democrats
concerned that Menendez's corruption allegations could lead to political
trouble for their congressional minority. If Christie is able to appoint a
Republican to temporarily hold Menendez's seat, that extra vote could influence
important legislative votes this year.
Menendez was indicted in 2015 on
corruption charges including bribery, but his Democratic colleagues in the
Senate continued taking money from his New
Millennium PAC into this past year. Among those whose campaigns received
$10,000 were Stabenow and Tester, although the latter said Menendez's trial was
not occupying his attention.
"I haven't really been paying
attention to the trial," Tester said.
Stabenow's campaign declined the Detroit News‘
request for comment and Manchin called for withholding "judgment in any
way, shape, or form." Fellow New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker (D.) showed his support at the first day of
Menendez's trial Wednesday, giving him a handshake and a hug.
Other senators who received money
from Menendez's PAC have not said he should resign if convicted. Sen.
Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), who took $5,000 from the PAC, said last week she
was not even considering the implications of
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