In less than 48 hours following Senator Bob Menendez's plea of innocence against federal corruption and bribery charges, half of the Democratic caucus has called for his

resignation. Many, including those facing a challenging 2024 Senate race, expressed deep concern over the allegations, emphasizing the importance of the public's faith in the U.S. Senate.

Senator Jon Tester of Montana, who is running for re-election, stated, "I've read the detailed charges against Senator Menendez and find them deeply disturbing. While he deserves a fair trial like every other American, I believe Senator Menendez should resign for the sake of the public’s faith in the U.S. Senate."

Majority Whip Senator Dick Durbin from Illinois highlighted that New Jersey leaders, including Governor Phil Murphy, have made it clear that Menendez "can no longer serve" and added, "He should step down."

Notably, Senator Cory Booker, Menendez's fellow senator from New Jersey, who once considered him a friend and mentor, also called for his resignation, emphasizing that stepping down is not an admission of guilt but an acknowledgment of the sacrifices that come with holding public office. Booker stated, "Sen. Menendez has made these sacrifices in the past to serve, and in this case, he must do so again. I believe stepping down is best for those Sen. Menendez has spent his life serving."

This call for resignation has been supported by a total of 27 Democratic senators, more than half of the Democratic caucus. The list includes prominent names such as Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Bernie Sanders, who caucuses with the Democrats. Should Menendez not resign, Senator Sanders insists on an immediate Senate Ethics Committee investigation.

Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman, the first Democrat to call for Menendez's resignation, humorously remarked, "The last time there was a guy in New Jersey with this much cash in his house was Tony Soprano." Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut also found the allegations "deeply troubling" and called for Menendez's resignation, pledging to redirect campaign contributions made by Menendez to a charity. Photo by United States Senate, Wikimedia commons.