Gov. Murphy, other NJ Democrats call on Sen. Menendez to resign amid bribery indictment

The state’s Democratic apparatus swiftly turned on Sen. Bob Menendez Friday afternoon, with several high-ranking Democrats calling on the indicted senator to resign.
Gov. Phil Murphy, state Democratic chairman Leroy Jones Jr., Rep. Andy Kim and Rep. Mikie Sherrill - all beginning a deluge of calls for the embattled senator to step down.
“Under our legal system, Senator Menendez and the other defendants have not been found guilty and will have the ability to present evidence disputing these charges, and we must respect the process,” Murphy said in a 5 p.m. statement. “However, the alleged facts are so serious that they compromise the ability of Senator Menendez to effectively represent the people of our state. Therefore, I am calling for his immediate resignation."
It’s a marked difference from the senator’s 2015 indictment and 2017 trial on separate charges. That trial ended in a hung jury. During that Menendez legal imbroglio, the Democratic Party largely stood by the senator.
This time, it’s different.
After an indictment loaded with high-resolution photos of gleaming gold bars the senator and his wife allegedly received, along with reports of nearly half a million dollars in cash seized during a raid of Menendez’s home last year, Democrats are reacting differently. And with Menendez up for election in 2024, a Democratic primary fight for that seat is increasingly likely – with or without the senator on the ballot.
Menendez has said the allegations against him are “baseless.”
“The excesses of these prosecutors is apparent,” Menendez said in a statement. “They have misrepresented the normal work of a Congressional office. On top of that, not content with making false claims against me, they have attacked my wife for the longstanding friendships she had before she and I even met.”