(KYMA, KECY/NBC/CBS) - Arizona Senator Mark Kelly issued a statement Tuesday calling for the resignation of New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez amid allegations of bribery.
"Senator Menendez has the same constitutional rights and presumption of innocence as any other American.
However, serving as a U.S. Senator is a position of public trust. These are serious and alarming allegations of corruption and bribery involving his service in the United States Senate.
That’s a breach of that trust and a burden I believe will prevent him from fully serving. He should resign.”Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.)
According to NBC News, Menendez and his wife, Nadine, were indicted on Friday, September 22 on charges that include conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, and conspiracy to commit extortion.
In addition, NBC News says the indictment alleges that Menendez and his wife received bribes including cash, gold bars, payments toward a home mortgage, a luxury vehicle, and other valued items.
Menendez held a press conference on Monday, where he denied allegations of corruption, with Menendez saying:
"For 30 years, I have withdrawn thousands of dollars in cash from my personal savings account, which I have kept for emergencies and because of the history of my family facing confiscation in Cuba. Now this may seem old fashioned, but these were monies drawn from my personal savings account based on the income that I have lawfully derived over those 30 years."
During an interview with Margaret Brennan on Sunday's Face the Nation, and before releasing the statement, Kelly said the charges against Menendez are "serious and shocking."
"I've never seen anything like this," Kelly addressed while adding that Menendez "must figure out whether he can adequately serve the people."