Critics call for Sen. Menendez resignation if convicted

Posted: Updated:
NEWARK -

Critics of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez are calling for top Democratic leaders to ask the senator to resign if he is convicted of bribery charges.

A group of protesters gathered outside Newark Federal Court Tuesday as the senator entered court for his trial. The group was backing Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno’s campaign for governor. They say that Guadagno’s Democratic opponent, Phil Murphy, should call for Menendez’s resignation if he is convicted.

“It's Phil Murphy's responsibility to have a response about what the senator should do with his seat if he were convicted in this trial,” says protester Corinne Day. “All he's said is [that] he hasn't thought about it.”

But top state Democrats say that they are supporting Menendez and say that the trial won’t affect the party.

“Everyone is innocent until proven guilty and I don’t work in hypotheticals,” says Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto.

Prosecutors brought up allegations that the senator tried to pull political strings on behalf of co-defendant Salomon Melgen in U.S. foreign policy during court proceedings Tuesday. Melgen owned a stake in a cargo security screening company in the Dominican Republic but was in a contract dispute with the government. Prosecutors allege that Menendez talked to officials about the dispute on Melgen’s behalf.

Sen. Menendez, meanwhile, says he is keeping on top of issues in Washington. The senator said that he would leave the trial if he was needed to vote on the health care bill. But top Republicans said Tuesday that no vote will take place.

The senator also continued to push for aid for hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.

The trial will resume Wednesday.

  • CrimeMore>>

  • Police capture suspect in deadly Maryland office park shooting

    Police capture suspect in deadly Maryland office park shooting

    Wednesday, October 18 2017 11:31 AM EDT2017-10-18 15:31:22 GMT
    Thursday, October 19 2017 7:15 AM EDT2017-10-19 11:15:57 GMT
    (Maryland State Police via AP) This photo provided by the Maryland State Police shows Radee Labeeb Prince, who police say opened fire with a handgun a business park in Harford County, Md., Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, and then fled.(Maryland State Police via AP) This photo provided by the Maryland State Police shows Radee Labeeb Prince, who police say opened fire with a handgun a business park in Harford County, Md., Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, and then fled.

    A sweeping multi-state manhunt ended Wednesday night when officers on foot chased down a man they say shot six people, killing three, in two separate shootings.

    A sweeping multi-state manhunt ended Wednesday night when officers on foot chased down a man they say shot six people, killing three, in two separate shootings.

  • Man convicted of killing, dismembering girlfriend

    Man convicted of killing, dismembering girlfriend

    Thursday, October 19 2017 5:13 AM EDT2017-10-19 09:13:43 GMT
    (File photo) Man convicted of killing, dismembering girlfriend(File photo) Man convicted of killing, dismembering girlfriend

    A jury has convicted a man accused of killing and dismembering his girlfriend and scattering her remains in at least two locations.

    A jury has convicted a man accused of killing and dismembering his girlfriend and scattering her remains in at least two locations.

  • Former Menendez staffer contradicts prosecution testimony

    Former Menendez staffer contradicts prosecution testimony

    Wednesday, October 18 2017 8:05 PM EDT2017-10-19 00:05:46 GMT
    U.S. Senator Robert Menendez greets supporters as he arrives to court in Newark, N.J., Monday, Oct. 16, 2017.U.S. Senator Robert Menendez greets supporters as he arrives to court in Newark, N.J., Monday, Oct. 16, 2017.

    A former staffer for U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez gave testimony at his bribery trial Wednesday that differed from the prosecution's version of events.

    A former staffer for U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez gave testimony at his bribery trial Wednesday that differed from the prosecution's version of events.

sorry to interrupt
your first 5 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 5 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 5 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login, create an account or subscribe to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."