Embattled Menendez Won’t Run for Reelection

(StraightNews.org) – New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez has announced he will not run for his Senate seat as a Democrat in November. However, he did say he may stand as an independent. The Senator faced numerous calls for his resignation from fellow Democrats after being indicted on several bribery charges, for which he has consistently maintained his innocence.

In a video posted to social media, Mr. Menendez said he still hopes to be exonerated and that this will allow him to “pursue candidacy as an independent Democrat in the general election.”

The federal charges against the Senator allege that he and his wife Nadine accepted cash, gold bars, and other valuables amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for using his influence to benefit various New Jersey businessmen and foreign governments. Senator Menendez is accused of acting as an agent for the Egyptian government and accepting gifts for making positive public statements about Qatar. Federal investigators also accuse the couple of obstructing their investigations.

In January, after he pleaded not guilty to charges related to Egypt, fresh allegations emerged that he induced a Qatari investment company to invest with New Jersey businessman Fred Daibes in exchange for favors for the Qatari government. The federal indictment noted that the investor negotiated a multi-million dollar real estate deal with Daibes, who is also charged in the indictment.

Last September, when charges were filed, more than half of Democrats in the Senate called on Menendez to stand down. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy joined the chorus, and Rep. Andy Kim announced he would challenge the embattled Senator for his seat. Kim was seen as the joint favorite in the race, along with Tammy Murphy, wife of Governor Murphy. However, on March 24, Mrs. Murphy announced she was suspending her campaign. She wrote on Twitter, “It is clear to me that continuing in this race will involve waging a very divisive and negative campaign, which I am not willing to do.”

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