Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) has urged the resignation or expulsion of his fellow Democrat Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) from the Senate. Fetterman’s call came in response to the formal expulsion of Rep. George Santos (R-NY) from Congress on Friday, a move supported by a bipartisan majority. Santos faced a federal criminal indictment and a damning House Ethics Committee report detailing various instances of alleged fraud and deceit.
Fetterman not only backed Santos’s expulsion but also insisted on Menendez’s removal or resignation, citing actions he deemed “much more sinister and serious” than Santos’s allegations. This is not the first time Fetterman has called for Menendez’s ousting, previously doing so following a criminal indictment accusing Menendez of accepting bribes to act in favor of the government of Egypt. On ABC’s “The View,” Fetterman expressed his stance, emphasizing that Menendez “needs to go.”
“To me, the more important picture is that we have a colleague in the Senate that actually does much more sinister and serious kinds of things, Sen. Menendez,” Fetterman said.
“He needs to go.”
“And if you are going to expel Santos, how can you allow somebody like Menendez to remain in the Senate?” he continued.
“Santos’s lies were almost funny, like he landed on the moon and that kind of stuff, whereas, you know, I think Menendez is really a senator for Egypt and not New Jersey.”
“So I really think he needs to go, and especially it’s kind of strange that if Santos is not allowed to remain in the House, someone like [Menendez] is” permitted to stay in the Senate, Fetterman added.
Fetterman further recognized that while Menendez is entitled to his “day in court,” the senator does not have the right to retain his position in the Senate. He emphasized that it is now up to Menendez’s fellow senators to make the decision to “send him out.”
CBS News reported that Santos, following two previous survival votes, was expelled from the House on Friday with a 311-114 vote in favor of expulsion. This decision came in the wake of a federal criminal indictment, encompassing nearly two dozen charges related to conspiracy, campaign finance violations, fraud, making false statements, money laundering, and theft. The House Ethics Committee report echoed many of these allegations.
Concerning Menendez, Axios disclosed that he faced criminal charges for allegedly accepting bribes, including cash, gold bars, home furnishings, a luxury vehicle, and other valuables. These bribes were purportedly in exchange for leveraging his influential role as the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to take actions favorable to the Egyptian government.
Although Menendez stepped down from his chairmanship, he has remained steadfast in asserting his innocence and has refused to resign from the Senate. In response to Fetterman’s comments, McClatchy reported that Menendez stated:
“Mr. Fetterman appears to think he’s judge, jury, and executioner,” and “seems to be more interested in clickbait than justice.”
“He cannot say he stands for core constitutional principles of due process and the presumption of innocence when he is actively working to undermine my rights,” the embattled New Jersey senator added of his Pennsylvania colleague.
“I’m confident when all the facts are presented, I will be exonerated and the Senator will have to eat his words.”