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Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey call on fellow Senate Democrat Robert Menendez to resign

Massachusetts senators Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey call for Senator Robert Menendez to resign
Massachusetts senators Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey call for Senator Robert Menendez to resign 00:29

WASHINGTON - Massachusetts senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey have joined a growing list of Democratic senators who are calling on Sen. Robert Menendez to resign after his indictment on federal bribery charges

Warren on Tuesday told The Boston Globe's Kimberly Atkins Stohr that the senior senator from New Jersey should step down.

"These are serious charges, and it's time for Sen. Menendez to step away from the Senate and concentrate on his legal defense," Warren said. 

A few hours later, Markey posted to social media "The public's trust has been broken. Senator Menendez should resign."

So far just over a dozen Democratic senators have said Menendez should resign now, including Sen. Peter Welch of Vermont.  

Menendez and his wife are accused of accepting lavish bribes in exchange for official acts, CBS News reported. They each face one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right.

A 39-page indictment claims that between 2018 and 2022, the couple accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to enrich and protect three New Jersey businessmen and benefit the government of Egypt. Federal agents found more than $480,000 in cash when searching the couple's home in 2022, as well as gold bars worth more than $100,000, prosecutors said.

Menendez has rejected calls to resign, saying he will fight the ccharges.

"I recognize this will be the biggest fight yet," Menendez said Monday. "But as I have stated throughout this whole process, I firmly believe that when all the facts are presented, not only will I be exonerated, but I still will be New Jersey's senior senator."  

The senator said he has withdrawn "thousands of dollars in cash from my personal savings" over the last 30 years, "which I have kept for emergencies and because of the history of my family facing confiscation in Cuba."  

"This may seem old-fashioned, but these were monies drawn from my personal saving account, based on the income that I had lawfully derived over those 30 years," he added.

Menendez said he would address the other allegations at trial. 

The senator has stepped down temporarily as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as required by party rules. He and his co-defendants are due in court on Wednesday. 

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