Menendez on Corruption Charges: ‘I Will Be Vindicated’

Washington, DC

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) struck a defiant tone on Wednesday, echoing remarks he made a month ago when news of a possible indictment first broke.

This was Menendez on March 9th: “I am not going anywhere.”

Meanwhile, here is just a portion of his comments tonight via Twitter.

“I will be vindicated, and they will be exposed,” Menendez said of the federal prosecutors. “This is not how my career is going to end.”

This is the first time a sitting U.S. Senator has faced charges since 2008.

It’s also been reported that Menendez plans to step down as ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, according to the LA Times: 

A senator since 2006, Menendez vigorously denied any wrongdoing and has said he will fight the accusations.

Sen. Robert Menendez, a powerful force on Capitol Hill and ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was charged Wednesday with receiving nearly $1 million in gifts and campaign contributions from a longtime friend and benefactor in exchange for using his Senate office to help the Florida man’s business and personal interests.

The bribery and conspiracy charges, long-awaited after questions surfaced about his dealings with Dr. Salomon Melgen of West Palm Beach, Fla., marks the first time that a sitting senator has faced criminal charges since 2008. A federal grand jury in his home state of New Jersey filed the indictment Wednesday.

Menendez and Melgen, both 61, were both charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of violating the travel act, eight counts of bribery and three counts of honest services fraud.