Republican Senator Cotton Defends Menendez, Criticizes DOJ

Support for U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., has been rare, especially within his own party, since he and his wife Nadine were indicted Friday on federal charges involving bribery, fraud, and extortion.

Many prominent Democrats, including New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, the state’s junior U.S. senator, Cory Booker, and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California have called on Menendez to resign. But Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., has tried to pump the brakes on resignation talk, saying Menendez deserves his day in court.

“Senator Menendez has a right to test the government’s evidence in court, just like any other citizen,” Cotton posted Tuesday on X. “He should be judged by jurors and New Jersey’s voters, not by Democratic politicians who now view him as inconvenient to their hold on power.”

In another post, Cotton said the Department of Justice doesn’t have a strong track record in prosecuting public figures, bringing up former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, former President Donald Trump, as well as Menendez, whose 2017 trial over federal charges of bribery, fraud and making false statements ended in a mistrial.

“The charges against Senator Menendez are serious and troubling,” Cotton wrote. “At the same time, the Department of Justice has a troubling record of failure and corruption in cases against public figures, from Ted Stevens to Bob McDonnell to Donald Trump to Bob Menendez the last time around.”

Menendez, who stepped down as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and his wife have denied any wrongdoing. He accused prosecutors last week of misrepresenting “the normal work of a congressional office” and said he will not allow his work in the Senate to be distracted by “baseless allegations.”

Michael Katz

Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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