Menendez: 'I haven't been charged with anything'

Menendez: 'I haven't been charged with anything'
© Lauren Schneiderman

Sen. Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezTrump encounters GOP resistance to investigating Hunter Biden Fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand the 'whistleblower' step forward Isolationism creeps back over America, as the president looks out for himself MORE (N.J.) on Monday dismissed speculation that he would step down as the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee because of pending Department of Justice (DOJ) criminal corruption charges against him.

“You know what? I haven’t been charged with anything, so you guys are way ahead,” he told a mob of reporters.

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He also shrugged off suggestions by Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzWarren goes local in race to build 2020 movement Trump holds chummy meeting with Turkey's Erdoğan Overnight Defense: Trump hosts Erdoğan at White House | Says Turkish leader has 'great relationship with the Kurds' | Highlights from first public impeachment hearing MORE (R-Texas) and others that the corruption charges against him are political retribution for opposing the White House’s negotiations with Iran.

“That’s their speculation, not mine,” he said.

Menendez said Friday that he was not “going anywhere” despite reports that DOJ was moving to bring criminal corruption charges against him, likely concerning allegations that he used his office to advocate for an ophthalmologist friend from whom he had accepted plane trips to the Dominican Republic.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the Foreign Relations panel, told reporters it is “way too premature” to know whether Menendez will lose his top spot on the committee.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Sunday said that, when it came to any decision regarding the New Jersey lawmaker’s seniority, it would be up to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) “to make that call.”