Menendez says he won’t run in Democratic primary but suggests if exonerated, he’ll run in general as ‘independent Democrat’

Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, who has served in the Senate since early 2006, announced in a video message that he will not file to run in the Democratic U.S. Senate primary in the Garden State this year, but indicated he is “hopeful” that he will be exonerated this summer and then be able to run in the general election as an “independent Democrat.”

In the video, Menendez, who has been accused of accepting bribes, claimed that he is innocent of the accusations against him. “All I can ask of you is to withold judgment until justice takes place,” he said.

“From at least in or about 2018 up to and including in or about 2023, MENENDEZ and his wife, NADINE MENENDEZ, a/k/a ‘Nadine Arslanian,’ the defendant, engaged in a corrupt relationship with three New Jersey associates and businessmen— WAEL HANA, a/k/a ‘Will Hana,’ and FRED DAIBES, the defendants, and Jose Uribe—in which MENENDEZ and NADINE MENENDEZ agreed to and did accept hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes in exchange for using MENENDEZ’s power and influence as a Senator to seek to protect and enrich HANA, DAIBES, and Uribe, and to benefit the Arab Republic of Egypt and the State of Qatar. Those bribes included cash, gold, payments toward a home mortgage, compensation for a low-or-no-show job, a luxury vehicle, and other things of value,” according to a superceding indictment.

A number of Democratic lawmakers have previously called upon Menendez to resign from office.

In response to Menendez’s announcement, a tweet from Democratic Sen. John Fetterman’s @SenFettermanPA X account stated, “dibs on your parking space.”

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