Sen. Menendez rejects calls to resign, says cash found in home was from personal account
U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez made his first public comments since being indicted on Friday, vowing to stay in the Senate, fight the corruption charges against him and claims thousands of dollars in suspected bribe money seized from his home were from his savings account.
“For 30 years, I have withdrawn thousands of dollars in cash from my personal savings account, which I have kept for emergencies and the history of my family facing confiscation in Cuba,” Menendez said during remarks in Union City. “Now this may seem old-fashioned, but these were monies drawn from my personal savings account based on the income I have lawfully derived during that time.”
Watch Menendez deliver remarks to the public below:
Menendez did not address the origin of bars of gold, also seized from his home and a safe deposit box.
“To those who have rushed to judgment, you have done so based on a limited set of facts, framed by the prosecution to be as salacious as possible,” Menendez said. “Remember, prosecutors get it wrong sometimes. Sadly, I know that.”
Menendez was indicted in 2015 in New Jersey on separate corruption charges and went on trial in 2017. That case ended in a mistrial after the jury deadlocked.
The senator’s latest indictment on bribery, extortion and fraud counts also charges his wife, Nadine, and three New Jersey businessmen. The prosecution alleges that the cash, gold bars and a luxury car were payoffs from the businessmen in exchange for official action by Menendez.
WATCH: History of US senators facing criminal indictments