Fetterman Won’t Hear Menendez’s ‘Explanation’ for Gold Bars and Cash Bribes

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Fetterman Won’t Hear Menendez’s ‘Explanation’ for Gold Bars and Cash Bribes.
Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) took another swing at embattled New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez (D) on Thursday, saying he’s not interested in Menendez’s explanation.

“Unless Senator Menendez is coming today to resign, I am not interested in hearing his ‘explanation’ for gold bars stashed in a mattress,” Fetterman’s statement read. “We’re past the point of his tough talk and defiance, given the scope and scale of his alleged corruption.”

The New Jersey senator is set to address the Democratic Caucus following his indictment on federal corruption and bribery charges — as a growing list of his colleagues are calling for his resignation. Menendez pleaded not guilty on Wednesday.

Fetterman was the first senator to make that call earlier this month after federal prosecutors accused Menendez and his wife, Nadine Arslanian, of taking “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in bribes in exchange for helping three New Jersey businessmen and using his power to benefit Egypt.

“He’s entitled to the presumption of innocence under our system, but he is not entitled to continue to wield influence over national policy, especially given the serious and specific nature of the allegations,” Fetterman said in a statement on Saturday.

Menendez has strongly denied the allegations against him, calling them an “active smear campaign.”

“Prosecutors did that the last time and look what a trial demonstrates. People should remember that before accepting the prosecutor’s version,” Menendez said in a Friday statement.

The senator stepped down from his leadership position on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee following the indictment news, but has largely rejected the mounting calls for resignation.

Fetterman said he was “surprised” by himself being the first senator to request Menendez’s resignation Tuesday. He then likened the New Jersey senator’s bribery allegations to that of fictional character Tony Soprano.

“The last time there’s ever been a man with so much cash in their home in New Jersey was Tony Soprano. You know?” the Pennsylvania Democrat said.