Menendez to regain spot as top Foreign Relations Dem
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezJustice Dept intends to re-try Menendez in corruption case DACA is neither bipartisan nor in America's interest Senate DACA deal picks up GOP supporters MORE (N.J.) is regaining his spot as the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee following the Justice Department’s decision to drop all charges against him.

The change was announced on Tuesday in a joint statement from Menendez, Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats now attack internet rules they once embraced Schumer: Trump budget would ‘cripple’ gun background checks Schumer: Senate Republicans' silence 'deafening' on guns, Russia MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinWashington puts Ethiopia's human rights abusers on notice Overnight Defense: Mattis vows Dreamers in military won't be deported | Pentagon unsure if military parade will be in Washington | Dem bill would block funds for parade Dems introduce bills to block funds for Trump's proposed parade MORE (D-Md.), who has served as ranking member for nearly three years. 

Schumer's office says the decision was ratified by the entire Democratic caucus. 


I am honored to resume my position as ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,” Menendez said in a statement. “At a time of immense global challenges, I will make certain the committee holds President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out 'subversion' at VA MORE and his administration accountable for its capricious and erratic approach to foreign policy.”

Menendez was widely expected to regain the panel's top Democratic spot after the Justice Department ended its years-long investigation and court case. 

Though the Justice Department dropped its charges, the Senate Ethics Committee announced late last year that it was restarting its investigation into the New Jersey Democrat. 

Tuesday’s move puts him in line to become the Foreign Relations Committee chairman if Democrats win back the chamber in November and Menendez — who is up for reelection — keeps his seat. 

It will also give him a perch to take on the Trump administration, which has sparked criticism both on Capitol Hill and internationally for its isolationist foreign policy. 

Menendez stepped down in April 2015 following public corruption charges from the Justice Department, though he remained a member of the Foreign Relations Committee. 

Cardin, who has held the ranking member position since April 2015, is similarly expected to remain a member of the committee.