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Monday, April 22, 2024

New Jersey Dem To Introduce Bill Banning Menendez, Trump From Classified Info

'As a Navy veteran and former prosecutor, I have zero tolerance for any betrayal of the public trust...'

(Headline USA) A New Jersey Democrat said this week she will introduce a bill to bar Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., from accessing classified information.

Menendez is accused by federal prosecutors of bribery and acting as a foreign agent for Egypt and Qatar.

He announced last week that he will not seek reelection as a Democrat, though he floated the idea of running as an independent. And he has not resigned, even though half of his Democratic Senate colleagues and the entire New Jersey House delegation, except for his son, Democratic Rep. Robert Menendez Jr., have called on him to step down.

“As a Navy veteran and former prosecutor, I have zero tolerance for any betrayal of the public trust,” Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., who has called for Menendez to step down, said in a statement.

Her bill would restrict individuals who have been charged with certain crimes from gaining access to classified documents. Those crimes would include acting as a foreign agent, compromising U.S. national security, unlawful disclosure or improper handling of classified information, unlawful retention of national defense information, and obstructing an official proceeding.

The bill is general enough that it would also prevent former President Donald Trump from accessing classified information, since he has been charged with unlawful retention of classified information.

“Nobody is entitled or legally obligated to classified briefings — certainly not Trump, even if he is the Republican nominee for president,” Sherill claimed. “This legislation … [will] ensure sensitive information doesn’t get into the wrong hands.”  

Sherill continued blasting Trump, accusing the former president of “disclosing secrets to adversaries, trying to hide and destroy information, not being clear on what he’s held and is now under indictment for these infractions. And yet our intelligence community is supposed to start briefing him?”

In fact, Sherrill’s bill would apply to the president, the vice president, members of Congress, members of the military, and employees of other key agencies that receive classified information.

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