Politico is now openly wondering whether New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez will “survive” in his senate seat.
The website ran a lead piece Sunday night with a headline asking: “Can Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) survive?” While the piece quotes several Democrats suggesting Menendez will make it through his ethics scandal, Politico is suggesting Menendez might be forced out of office.
Politico’s Ginger Gibson and John Bresnahan say the fact Menendez is from New Jersey is likely the major reason he’s still in the U.S. Senate. “In some states, these allegations — and the fact the Senate Ethics Committee has joined federal investigators in looking into the explosive claims — would be enough to sink Menendez,” the Politico reporters wrote. “But in New Jersey, that may not be enough to topple the Hudson County political boss, who runs the political machine for a part of Jersey known for being rough and tumble and who easily won reelection last year.”
Gibson and Bresnahan add that Menendez’s aides “would not comment on whether the senator has hired a defense attorney at this time or will set up a legal defense fund to help cover the costs of any ethics or criminal investigation.”
They did report, however, that Menendez has retained Democratic lawyer Marc Elias to advise on ethics issues.