Sanders on Menendez trial: ‘Let the process take its course’

Sanders on Menendez trial: ‘Let the process take its course’

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies Clip shows Larry David and Bernie Sanders reacting after discovering they're related For now, Trump dossier creates more questions than answers MORE (I-Vt.) on Sunday said his colleague, Sen. Bob Menendez, deserves "due process" when asked whether the New Jersey Democrat should resign if convicted of corruption charges.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa — I think, in this country, people are entitled to due process," Sanders told host Jake Tapper on CNN’s "State of the Union." 

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"I'm not into speculating ... if that will be Menendez's decision. He has not been convicted. Let the process take its course," the Vermont senator said.  

Sanders said any response to the hypothetical question would be "premature."

"In America, that's what it's about. You have a trial, and people — the jury makes its decision. They have not made their decision. So, I think it's a little bit premature to be talking about that," he continued.

A poll from Suffolk University, published by USA Today, found that 84 percent of New Jersey residents would want Menendez to resign if he's convicted, while only 10 percent said he should stay in office even if he is found guilty. 

The New Jersey lawmaker is accused of helping a Florida eye doctor acquire visas for female friends and advocating on his behalf with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Prosecutors say the senator received lavish gifts and campaign contributions in return.
 
Menendez has maintained his innocence and dismissed the idea of resigning from office.
 
Republicans, however, are pushing for Democrats to commit to calling for Menendez's resignation if he is ultimately convicted.