Latest News 08-12-2023 01:07 12 Views

Senate leaders silent on potential expulsion of Sen. Menendez after Rep. Santos ousted

Senate leaders are holding silent on whether they'd move to expel disgraced New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, a Democrat, in the wake of the House's recent expulsion.

Fox News Digital asked the offices of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Minority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., if the senators would support expelling Menendez in the wake of the removal of now-former Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y.

Menendez is facing federal bribery charges that were announced by the Department of Justice (DOJ) earlier this year. Santos, who is facing criminal charges in his own case, was expelled from the House on Friday, weeks after a damning ethics committee report.

Only McConnell's office responded to Fox News Digital, pointing to the minority leader's comments to the press leaving action against Menendez up to the Democrats.

The offices of Schumer, Durbin and Thune did not respond to Fox News Digital's requests for comment.

Thune appeared behind McConnell at the press conference earlier this week.

'I'm glad he's not a Republican,' McConnell said, repeating his previous comments. 'This is an internal problem with the majority.'

'[Menendez] obviously has some external problems, and I'll leave it up to the majority leader to decide how to deal with him,' McConnell said.

Menendez is facing calls to resign amid criminal bribery charges levied by the DOJ earlier this year.

Several gold bars discovered by federal agents in the senator's residence as part of a high-profile bribery investigation can be traced to a violent robbery a decade ago, it was reported this week.

According to a sprawling indictment unsealed by federal prosecutors in September, Menendez and his wife allegedly played a role in a years-long bribery scheme that involved the Egyptian government and local businessmen, including Fred Daibes, a wealthy New Jersey real estate developer. Prosecutors revealed they retrieved multiple gold bars from Menendez's home that were allegedly used as payment in the scheme.

At least four of the gold bars discovered by investigators can be linked to Daibes, both because of their unique engraved serial numbers and thanks to court documents related to a 2013 robbery which Daibes was a victim of, an NBC New York investigation revealed Monday. In November 2013, four assailants beat and robbed Daibes at gunpoint in his Edgewater, New Jersey, apartment, stealing 22 gold bars, jewelry and cash.

Photographs released by the Department of Justice in September showing the gold bars discovered at Menendez's home, for example, reveal one of the bars has a serial number of '590005.' Daibes reported a gold bar with that same serial number stolen during the 2013 heist, NBC New York reported.

And the federal indictment notes that the serial numbers on the gold bars indicate they had previously been possessed by Daibes.

Fox News Digital's Thomas Catenacci contributed reporting.

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