Survey Indicates Strong Public Sentiment in New Jersey for Menendez's Prompt Resignation

Survey Indicates Strong Public Sentiment in New Jersey for Menendez’s Prompt Resignation

As federal bribery, fraud, and extortion accusations are brought against embattled Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), most New Jerseyans think he ought to step down. This is according to a recent poll.

Following an indictment last fall that accused him of accepting bribes to use his position as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman to use his power to benefit Egypt and three New Jersey businessmen, the Monmouth University poll, which was released on Thursday, found that 63 percent of New Jersey adults believe he should step down.

In an ongoing corruption conspiracy spanning years, he is charged in a superseding indictment with taking gifts from Qatar.

Researchers discovered that about 33% of respondents said the senator should be given time to see how the allegations against him are resolved, while 4% indicated they were unsure.

When Menendez was indicted in 2015 on corruption charges, much fewer people—28 percent of New Jerseyans—said he should step down, according to surveys conducted afterward, according to Monmouth University. 2017 saw the mistrial of that indictment.

Menendez is “probably guilty,” according to 75% of respondents in the most recent Monmouth survey. Only 5% disagreed, and 9% indicated they were unsure. Of those surveyed, 11% claimed to be unaware of the recent allegations.

Despite stepping aside as chair of the Foreign Relations Committee shortly after the charges were revealed in September of last year, Menendez has mostly ignored calls for his resignation from members of Congress and his supporters.

One day before prosecutors filed twelve more counts against the congressman, following co-defendant Jose Uribe accepted a plea agreement last week and committed to work with the prosecution, the survey was conducted from February 29 to March 4.

16 criminal allegations, including bribery and obstruction of justice, are now being brought against Menendez.

In addition to conspiracy allegations, the New Jersey Democrat is now accused of direct bribery, extortion, and serving as a foreign agent in the new counts, which are primarily connected to the alleged schemes already made public in earlier indictments.

Presently, federal prosecutors are looking into the issue, and they are charging the accused of plotting to conceal the alleged bribery plan.

After Uribe entered a guilty plea, he was accused of planning to pretend that the money he gave Menendez—which he used to buy a Mercedes-Benz convertible—was a loan. Judge Menendez reportedly agreed to obstruct the Uribe inquiry in exchange for the payments, according to the prosecution.

Commencing on May 6, the trial will include testimony from Uribe, who accepted a plea agreement.

Referring to the superseding charge as a “flagrant abuse of power,” Menendez insisted on his innocence.

Menendez stated earlier this week that,”The latest charge reveals far more about the government than it says about me. It says that the prosecutors are afraid of the facts, scared to subject their charges to the fair-minded scrutiny of a jury, and unconstrained by any sense of justice or fair play.”

Monmouth University surveyed 801 persons in New Jersey at random from February 29 to March 4. Its error margin is four and a half percentage points.