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Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) has announced his intention to consider running as an independent candidate for his Senate seat, despite facing indictments and calls from within his party to resign.

Menendez, who is accused of accepting bribes and acting as an agent for Egypt’s government, has maintained his innocence. In a video, Senator Menendez said, “I am innocent against the accusations against me. The accusations will not allow me to have that type of dialogue and debate with political opponents that have already made it the cornerstone of their campaign.” He added, “I know many of you are hurt and disappointed in me with the accusations I’m facing. Believe me, I am disappointed at the false accusations as well. All I can ask of you is to withhold judgment until justice takes place.”


Choosing not to file for the Democratic primary this June, Menendez said he was “hopeful that my exoneration will take place this summer and allow me to pursue my candidacy as an independent Democrat in the general election.” This development arrives just before New Jersey’s filing deadline, placing Menendez’s political future under intense scrutiny.

Menendez’s legal woes include not just the allegations of acting as a foreign agent for Egypt but also charges related to obstruction of justice, to which he and his wife, also indicted, have pleaded not guilty. Amid these accusations, a businessman has admitted to attempting to bribe Menendez for political favors. The situation has led to calls for resignation from several Senate Democrats and bids for his seat from prominent New Jersey Democrats.

This comes as a recent Monmouth University poll found that 63% of voters in his state believe he should step down.


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