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Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania compared Democratic colleague Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey to a fictional mafia family while declaring that he “needs to” resign from the chamber amid allegations of bribery and corruption.
During an interview on far-left MSNBC host Joy Reid’s program Tuesday evening, Fetterman said Menendez was like the fictional mobster Tony Soprano as he discussed gold bars found in the New Jersey senator’s possession along with wads of cash.
“Honestly, I was actually surprised that I was the first one. I mean, it’s so black and white. I mean, it’s so clear. The last time there’s ever been a man with so much cash in their home in New Jersey was Tony Soprano. You know? I mean, it’s not a— it’s not a— it’s not a close call, and if you were looking for the most incriminating kinds of evidence, nobody could even come up with gold bars in a mattress. So, and again, he’s entitled to have his day in court, but he is not entitled to remain in the Senate and he needs to go,” Fetterman said.
“Obviously, I don’t speak for anyone else in the Senate except myself, but what I can say is that, you know, he has to go,” he added.
“New Jersey is a safe, blue seat, and they have a governor ready to appoint somebody that’s ready to step in and make the kind of votes that he needs to do. And again, it’s never been about him. It’s about the Senate and the integrity, and he needs to go,” Fetterman — whom Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) recently changed the chamber’s dress code to accommodate so he could continue wearing hoodies and gym shorts — noted further.
Meanwhile, reports on Wednesday noted that Menendez has surrendered to federal authorities.
“Menendez appeared in a Manhattan federal court Wednesday for his arraignment after he was indicted last week on bribery charges,” The Daily Caller reported.
The outlet added:
Menendez and his wife were charged with three counts each stemming from his alleged acceptance of bribes, which included stacks of cash hidden in his home, a luxury vehicle, home mortgage payments and “over one hundred thousand dollars” worth of gold bars, to aid the Egyptian government and enrich three New Jersey businessmen, according to the indictment. His wife, Nadine Menendez, also appeared in court Wednesday.
After he was indicted Friday, Menendez immediately denied allegations, claiming that those behind the indictment campaign “simply cannot accept that a first-generation Latino American from humble beginnings could rise to be a U.S. Senator.”
Menendez has been in hot water before.
“This would be the second time Menendez has been indicted. He stood trial several years ago but that ended in a mistrial. The New Jersey Democrat is up for reelection next year,” Politico reported.
“The first time Menendez was indicted, he had been accused of using his political influence to help a Florida eye doctor who had lavished him with gifts and campaign contributions. Menendez appears to be the first sitting senator in U.S. history to have been indicted on two unrelated criminal allegations, according to a list maintained by the Senate Historical Office,” the New York Post reported. “The new charges follow a yearslong investigation that examined, among other things, the dealings of a New Jersey businessman — a friend of Menendez’s wife — who secured sole authorization from the Egyptian government to certify that meat imported into that country meets Islamic dietary requirements. Investigators also asked questions about the Menendez family’s interactions with a New Jersey developer.”
“Menendez faces re-election next year in a bid to extend his three-decade career in Washington, and as Democrats hold a narrow majority in the Senate. Menendez’s political career had looked as though it might be over in 2015, when a federal grand jury in New Jersey indicted him on multiple charges over favors he did for a friend, Dr. Salomon Melgen,” the outlet added.