Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin joins Schumer in stopping short of calling on Bob Menendez to resign

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Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) connected Sunday, refrained from urging his workfellow Sen. Bob Menendez to measurement down after the New Jersey Democrat was deed with national corruption charges.

Durbin — the No. 2 Senate Democrat — described the charges against Menendez arsenic “very serious” but emphasized that Menendez was guiltless until proven guilty.

“There is simply a presumption of innocence. How acold it goes successful presumption of his aboriginal work is thing to beryllium decided by the legislator and New Jersey,” Durbin told CNN’s “State of the Union” connected Sunday.

“This is simply a precise superior charge. There’s nary question astir it,” helium added. “But it bears reminding america what I’ve said astir the indictments against Donald Trump arsenic superior charges. These are successful fact, indictments that person to beryllium proven.”

Durbin’s remarks echo those of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who stressed Friday that Menendez “has a close to owed process and a just trial.”

Several salient New Jersey Democrats person called connected Menendez to resign since the 69-year-old senator and his woman Nadine were accused of pocketing bribes — including 13 golden bars, $566,000 successful currency and a Mercedes Benz C-Class sedan — successful a “corrupt” statement to payment 3 New Jersey businessmen and the authorities of Egypt.

Bob MenendezSenate Majority Whip Dick Durbin has stopped abbreviated of calling for New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez to resign aft helium was indicted connected national bribery charges.Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/Shutterstock
Dick DurbinDurbin called the allegations “very serious” but said Menendez inactive has a “presumption of innocence.”AP

“I called connected him fixed the gravity of charges to measurement aside,” New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer explained connected “State of the Union.”

“We’ve got elections coming up, there’s a batch of distractions, obviously,” the Democrat continued. “I deliberation what’s champion is that helium measurement aside.”

Gov. Phil Murphy besides implored Menendez to measurement down, and Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ) said helium plans to superior Menendez — who’s up for reelection successful 2024 — successful the aftermath of the indictment.

Damian Williams, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaks during a property   conferenceMenendez and his woman Nadine are accused of taking bribes — including 13 golden bars, $566,000 successful currency and a Mercedes Benz C-Class sedan.Photo by Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images

One antheral who is ruling retired a tally for the spot is erstwhile New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who’s vying for the 2024 Republican information for president.

“I had a accidental to name myself to the US Senate,” Christie told NBC’s “Meet the Press” connected Sunday. “f I didn’t name myself, the easiest mode to get there, I definite arsenic heck americium not going to tally for it.”

WATCH: Fmr. N.J. Gov. Chris Christie rules retired a tally for Senate if Sen. Menendez (D) runs for re-election.@GovChristie: “I had a accidental to name myself to the U.S. Senate … If I didn’t name myself, the easiest mode to get there, I definite arsenic heck americium not going to tally for it.”

— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) September 24, 2023

FBI agents purportedly discovered the $566,000 successful currency and immoderate of the golden bars during a raid of Menendez’s  Englewood Cliffs location successful June 2022.

Prosecutors cited substance messages and a trove of integer grounds successful the three-count indictment against Menendez, unsealed Friday successful Manhattan national court.

Menendez has vehemently denied wrongdoing.

Bob MenendezMenendez has denied the charges and is refusing to measurement down.Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

“Those down this run simply cannot judge that a first-generation Latino American from humble beginnings could emergence to beryllium a U.S. Senator,” helium said successful a defiant statement. “Even worse, they spot maine arsenic an obstacle successful the mode of their broader governmental goals.”

In keeping with Senate Democratic caucus rules, helium has opted to temporarily measurement down from his station arsenic president of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Schumer is acceptable to determine a impermanent replacement connected the almighty committee.

Menendez had agelong been power connected overseas policy, but has divided with Democrats connected argumentation toward Iran and Afghanistan successful the past.

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