Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has taken a stance on Senator Bob Menendez’s (D-NJ) recent federal corruption indictment, urging him to step down from his position. Menendez, at the age of 69, now faces charges of corruption, unveiled last week, which allege that he and his wife were involved in an unethical relationship with New Jersey businessmen named Wael Hana, Jose Uribe, and Fred Daibes. These businessmen are accused of providing Menendez with bribes totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, with the aim of safeguarding their interests and advancing those of Egypt.
The charges against Menendez carry a substantial prison term of up to 45 years if he is found guilty. They encompass accusations such as conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, and conspiracy to commit extortion while acting in an official capacity.
Ocasio-Cortez, in her appearance on CBS News’s “Face The Nation” with Margaret Brennan, was questioned about the scandal and whether she believed Menendez should resign, considering her prior calls for the resignation of Republicans amidst their own scandals.
Her response included, “The situation is indeed unfortunate, but I firmly believe that, at this juncture, it is in the best interests of Senator Menendez to step down. As you rightly pointed out, consistency is key. It should not matter whether one is a Republican or a Democrat. The allegations outlined in this indictment are exceptionally grave, and they pertain not only to his conduct but also to the integrity of our congressional seats.”
She rejected Menendez’s assertions of a “campaign” against him and any claims of racial bias, asserting that the indictment’s content is self-explanatory. Ocasio-Cortez continued, “While I acknowledge systemic bias as a Latina, the evidence in this indictment is glaring. I firmly believe that preserving the integrity of the seat is paramount. I must stress that all individuals must be afforded the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, as per our legal system. However, in terms of the political and ethical standards we uphold for the public in the United States Congress, I genuinely believe this course of action serves the best interests.”