Vulnerable Sens. John Tester (D-MT) and Bob Casey (D-PA) are each donating $10,000 they received from the political action committee (PAC) affiliated with indicted Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), but that is less than half of the donations they have received from the PAC over the years, per a report and a review of Federal Election Commission (FEC) records.
The Hill’s Alexander Bolton first reported that Tester and Casey – both of whom are up for reelection in 2024 – were donating $10,000 each they received from the New Millennium PAC, the leadership PAC affiliated with Menendez. The embattled senator was indicted on Friday for allegedly “accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes” from New Jersey businessmen and now faces a chorus of resignation calls.
However, Bolton pointed out that Tester’s campaign has received $30,000 through the years from the New Millennium PAC, while Casey’s campaign committees have received $26,000 – both of which more than double the donations pledged on Monday. FEC records show the New Millennium PAC gave $5,000 donations to Montanans for Tester on six occasions since January 2011.
Tester said in a statement Monday that Menendez “should resign for the sake of the public’s faith in the Senate.” Tester’s donation will go to a “veteran’s charity,” per the Hill.
The New Millennium PAC also donated $6,500 to the Bob Casey for Pennsylvania Committee between August and December of 2005, per FEC records. Since September 2011, he received another $20,000 in donations from the PAC to the Bob Casey for Senate Inc. Committee.
Along with a pledge to donate $10,000 his campaign has received from Menendez to a yet-to-be-reported cause, Casey also called on Menendez to resign.
“While he is entitled to the presumption of innocence, serving in public office is a privilege that demands a higher standard of conduct. Senator Menendez should resign,” Casey said in a statement shared via press release.
Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) is another Democrat who is up for reelection next year in a battleground state and will donate $10,000 in contributions she received from Menenedez’s PAC, the Nevada Independent reports. Campaign finance records show that is all she has received from the PAC, coming in two five thousand dollar contributions earlier this year.
“The well-documented political corruption charges are a violation of the public trust, and Senator Menendez should resign,” Rosen said in a statement per the outlet.
Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) called for Menendez’s resignation on Saturday. His spokesman, Joe Cavello, told the Messenger that Fetterman is working on returning his campaign donation of $5,000 that he received from Menendez, quipping it would be returned “in envelopes stuffed with $100 bills.”
Federal agents recovered $480,000 in cash at Menendez’s home last summer, with some of it found in envelopes. Some envelopes were found in jackets embroidered with “Senator Menendez” or “Robert Menendez.”
Menendez, at a press conference on Monday, asserted, “I have withdrawn thousands of dollars in cash from my personal savings account” over three decades that he “kept for emergencies.”
“Now, this may seem old-fashioned, but these were monies drawn from my personal savings account based on the income that I have lawfully derived over those 30 years,” he added.
And despite the calls for resignation, he indicated Monday he does not plan to go anywhere.
“Some of the people calling for my resignation for political reasons say I have lost the trust of the people in New Jersey. That couldn’t be more wrong,” Menendez asserted at the press conference.
“For now, I remain focused on continuing to do the important work I do every day on behalf of the nine million people who call New Jersey home, including doing everything we can this week to avoid a government shutdown,” he added.