After Indictment, Dems Line Up to Defend Robert Menendez

AP Photo/Mel Evans
AP Photo/Mel Evans

Indicted Sen. Robert Menendez, Democrat from New Jersey, insists, “I am not going anywhere.”

That puts his fellow Democrats in a difficult spot, though. Menendez remains one of the 46 votes solidly opposed to just about any Republican proposal. If he cracks, other Democrats might follow on issues ranging from the budget to the Loretta Lynch nomination.

So, for now, they’re standing behind Menendez.

“Our system of justice is designed to be fair and impartial, and it presumes innocence before guilt. I won’t waver in my commitment to stand alongside my senior Senator to serve our great state,” fellow New Jersey Democrat Sen. Cory Booker wrote on Facebook.

Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York added, “Bob Menendez is one of the best legislators in the Senate and is always fighting hard for the people of his state. I am confident he will continue to do so in the weeks and months ahead.” Schumer is in line to head the Senate Democrats after Harry Reid retires in 2017.

For his part, Reid spoke with CNBC reporter John Harwood, who Tweeted:

One of the staunchest supporters of President Obama’s executive amnesty also came out with kind words. “Bob Menendez has never given me any reason to question his integrity, his dedication to honest public service or his commitment to the American people,” said Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL).

Back at home, his party is rallying around Menendez as well. “The senator has told me personally that none of his actions were inappropriate or unlawful, and I truly believe him,” New Jersey Democratic Party Chairman John Currie said. “I will continue to proudly stand with my friend Bob Menendez.”

Democrat Rep. Frank Pallone added that Menendez is “a tireless and effective public servant,” and said he looks forward to continuing to work with the senator.

U.S. Rep. Albio Sires adds: “My friend Bob Menendez is not going anywhere.” Sires insists: “I know that he will get through this and nothing will distract him from doing what he does best, fighting for New Jersey.”

And as The Washington Times reports, “The state Democratic Committee publicized the Twitter hashtag #IStandWithBob and encouraged people to follow the account @IStandWithBob.”

Of course, this could all change if “indictment” turns to “conviction.”