The Senate must expel Senator Robert Menendez, given the extensive charges of corrupt and disloyal conduct he currently faces. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington today sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer outlining why the Senate must take this historic step. Senator Menendez appears to be the first sitting member of Congress charged with operating as a foreign agent in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, and allowing him to remain in the Senate creates a massive national security risk.

According to a federal indictment unsealed last September, the second in Menendez’s Senate career, he abused his power to scheme with the Egyptian government, including securing taxpayer money and weapons for the authoritarian ruler. A later superseding indictment alleged that Menendez took bribes from agents of foreign governments, abusing his position to obstruct justice and protect an alleged co-conspirator and pressuring various officials to take actions to benefit his friends at the expense of his constituents. Senator Menendez allegedly violated FARA by working as an agent of the Egyptian government from 2018 through 2022, during which time he served as either the Chairman or Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Today, he still sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and uses that position to shape the country’s international policy. And he still has a voice in allocating taxpayer money to foreign governments—including governments on whose behalf he has been working.

“Calling for Senator Menendez’s expulsion is not an action we take lightly, but it is clearly warranted by his alleged misconduct, which comes on the heels of years of prior corruption allegations and a damning finding by the Senate Ethics Committee based on past misconduct,” said CREW President Noah Bookbinder. “The government’s charges provide clear evidence that Senator Menendez consistently used his position to enrich both foreign governments and himself, not to represent his New Jersey constituents. It would be absurd to continue to grant someone alleged to have acted as a foreign agent access to the power and classified information United States senators receive.”

Recent practice in the House of Representatives makes clear that members can be expelled regardless of whether they have yet gone to trial for the criminal charges they face. In December 2023, the House of Representatives expelled New York representative George Santos following his indictment for allegedly engaging in a series of bizarre and corrupt activities including repeatedly lying about his background and credentials. Crucially, Rep. Santos was expelled before his criminal trial ever began.

“Since learning of the first charges against Senator Menendez, CREW has repeatedly called on him to resign. He has not,” said Bookbinder. “Our call for his expulsion is grounded in the solemn realization that as a nation, we have exhausted other avenues to safeguard our national security and protect our democracy. It is time for the Senate to act.”

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