Donald Trump has demanded that “all” Senate Democrats resign over the bribery scandal facing Senator Bob Menendez – despite pushing ahead with his own 2024 ambitions while facing the prospect of the rest of his life behind bars.
In a Truth Social rant on Sunday, the indicted former president weighed in on the federal criminal case against the New Jersey lawmaker and called on the entire Democratic party to stand down from the Senate over the scandal.
“Senate Democrats should all resign based on Senator Bob Menendez! They all knew what was going on, and the way he lived,” he ranted.
Mr Trump also went on to falsely suggest that he had been treated unfairly compared to Mr Menendez, questioning why the FBI didn’t raid the senator’s home “like they illegally raided Mar-a-Lago”.
Mr Trump appears to be unaware that the FBI executed a search warrant at the home Mr Menendez shares with his wife Nadine Menendez in June 2022 – a search that uncovered bars of gold, over $480,000 in cash and a luxury convertible now used as evidence in the case against him.
“Why doesn’t the FBI raid Senate Democrat’s homes like they illegally raided Mar-a-Lago, where nothing was done wrong based on the Presidential Records Act,” Mr Trump fumed.
“Menendez is a ‘piker’ compared to some of those Election Stealing THUGS. Can you imagine how much Crooked Joe Biden has stolen, and what’s in some of his many homes? The FBI and ‘Justice’ notified him that they would be going in to look, ‘in a few weeks.’ In other words, get rid of the cash, gold, & documents, ASAP, before we get there.
“They didn’t give me any warning, they just showed up. Hunter lived with Crooked Joe in Delaware. It would be a ‘Treasure Hunt!’ Crooked’s coffers must be loaded up with cash. I wonder how much they got paid for Rigging the Election?”
He rounded off his unhinged rant – in which he peddled his ongoing false claims of election fraud and unfounded accusations against his successor President Joe Biden – with an all-caps demand for all Democrats to stand down from the Senate.
“Menendez is one of many, a small timer at that. EVERY DEMOCRAT SHOULD RESIGN FROM THE SENATE! Our Border’s are Broken, our Election’s are Rigged. MAGA!” he wrote.
Mr Trump’s seeming assumption of Mr Menendez’s guilt and call to remove all Democrats from the Senate is a marked difference from his response to his own slew of criminal charges.
Mr Trump has been hit with a string of charges in four separate criminal cases – and, unlike his demands for Democrats, is remaining defiant in his 2024 White House run.
Several Republicans have said that he should bow out of the presidential race due to the criminal cases – something that Mr Trump is refusing to do as he claims that the same federal authorities now charging Mr Menendez are biased against him.
The former president was charged for the first time back in April with New York state charges following an investigation into hush money payments prior to the 2016 election.
Then came his first federal indictment, following a two-year investigation by special counsel Jack Smith, over his alleged mishandling of classified documents on leaving office.
In August, he was hit with a second federal indictment charging him with four counts over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election and the events leading up to the January 6 Capitol riot.
Later that month, Mr Trump and 18 close allies were charged in a sprawling RICO case in Georgia, over their efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election result in the crucial swing state.
The indictment accuses them of orchestrating and running a criminal enterprise in Fulton County, Georgia, and elsewhere, to “accomplish the illegal goal of allowing Donald J. Trump to seize the presidential term of office, beginning on January 20, 2021”. Among his co-defendants are former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, “Kraken” lawyer Sidney Powell, and attorneys John Eastman and Kenneth Cheseboro.
In total, the former president is now facing 91 charges from four separate criminal cases.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and claims that he is the victim of “political persecution” and a “witch hunt”.
Mr Menendez, meanwhile, was indicted on Friday on corruption and bribery-related charges.
The senator, who has represented New Jersey in the Senate since 2006 and was the Democratic leader of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, is accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, gold bars and a Mercedez-Benz in bribes by three New Jersey businessmen.
In exchange, the senator allegedly passed sensitive government information to Egyptian officials, used his position to aid the Egyptian government and tried to push federal prosecutors to drop criminal investigations linked to the businessmen.
A search of Mr Menendez’s home found over $480,000 in cash stuffed into envelopes and hidden inside clothing.
He is charged with conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right.
As well as Mr Menendez, his wife Nadine Menendez, New Jersey real estate developer Fred Daibes, and associates Wael Hana and Jose Uribe are also charged in the case.
Since the news broke, several Democrats have urged Mr Menendez to resign while New Jersey congressman Andy Kim has announced that he will challenge him for his Senate seat.
Mr Menendez is refusing to stand down and has hit back at the indictment claiming that “those behind this campaign simply cannot accept that a first-generation Latino American from humble beginnings could rise to be a US senator”.
He will hold a press conference on Monday where he is expected to announce plans to seek reelection in the 2024 election.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies