(Headline USA) Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., blasted his embattled colleague Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., this week, saying he plans to return all of the money Menendez donated to his 2022 Senate campaign in envelopes stuffed with cash.
Fetterman is one of several Democrats who has called on Menendez to resign after he was indicted by federal prosecutors last week on corruption and bribery charges.
Prosecutors said they found hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash stuffed in envelopes throughout Menendez’s house, as well as gold bars that contained fingerprints and DNA evidence of those alleged to have bribed Menendez.
Menendez donated $5,000 to Fetterman’s campaign, which a spokesperson for Fetterman said he plans to return.
“We are in process of returning the money,” said Joe Calvello, “in envelopes stuffed with $100 bills.”
Fetterman was the first Senate Democrat to call on Menendez to resign.
Senator Menendez should resign.
He’s entitled to the presumption of innocence, but he cannot continue to wield influence over national policy, especially given the serious and specific nature of the allegations.
I hope he chooses an honorable exit and focuses on his trial.
— Senator John Fetterman (@SenFettermanPA) September 23, 2023
“Senator Menendez should resign,” Fetterman posted on Saturday.
“He’s entitled to the presumption of innocence, but he cannot continue to wield influence over national policy, especially given the serious and specific nature of the allegations,” he continued. “I hope he chooses an honorable exit and focuses on his trial.”
Fetterman himself faced calls to step aside after an extended convalescence for what he claimed was depression brought about by the mockery and self-loathing he developed during his lengthy stroke recovery.
Many have questioned both the legitimacy of his election, which relied heavily on mail-in ballots accumulated weeks before he had even taken the debate state, and on his mental fitness for the job.
His refusal to dress and act the part also has scandalized some, with critics saying Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s willingness to change the chamber’s rules of decorum to accommodate Fetterman’s unusual sartorial preferences marked yet another decline in America’s greatness as a nation.
Democrats’ willingness to throw Menendez under the bus is likely due to the prospect that his seat could otherwise flip red next year, further endangering their razor-thin majority.
While several have spoken out against him, Schumer thus far has remained mum except to say Wednesday that the indictment is “truly upsetting.”
Menendez, meanwhile, has rebuffed calls to resign, insisting that he will be proven innocent when the case goes to trial.
“Those who believe in justice believe in innocence until proven guilty,” he said in a statement.
“I intend to continue to fight for the people of New Jersey with the same success I’ve had for the past five decades,” he continued. “This is the same record of success these very same leaders have lauded all along. It is not lost on me how quickly some are rushing to judge a Latino and push him out of his seat. I am not going anywhere.”