Sen. Menendez steps down from key Senate chairmanship after bribery indictment

Law enforcement discovered $480,000 in cash and $100,000 in gold bars at his home.
Sen. Robert Menendez.

New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez on Friday announced that he would step down from his post as Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman following his indictment on the same day on bribery charges.

Menendez's stepping down is pursuant to rules of the Democratic conference, which require an indicted lawmaker facing felony charges to resign from leadership, The Hill reported. If the charges are either downgraded or he is acquitted, Menendez could resume his post.

Prosecutors have alleged that Menendez and his wife accepted bribes in exchange for his influence on political matters. In one instance, he allegedly used his post to the benefit of Egypt's authoritarian government.

Maryland Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin is the second most senior Democrat on the committee and will likely fill Menendez's seat amid the legal battle.

"Bob Menendez has been a dedicated public servant and is always fighting hard for the people of New Jersey. He has a right to due process and a fair trial," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said of his colleague.

According to prosecutors, law enforcement discovered $480,000 in cash and $100,000 in gold bars at his home.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.