Headline RoundupSeptember 25th, 2023

Menendez Refuses to Resign, Says Cash Was 'Lawfully Derived'

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) refused to resign on Monday, saying he expected to be exonerated in his first public remarks since federal prosecutors charged him with bribery on Friday. 

Key Quote: “For 30 years, I have withdrawn thousands of dollars in cash from my personal savings account, which I have kept for emergencies and because of the history of my family facing confiscation in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,” Menendez said at a press conference in New Jersey, adding that the $480,000 in cash was “based on the income I have lawfully derived over those 30 years.” Menendez did not address other allegations, including the gold bars discovered by investigators, and he did not take questions from reporters. 

For Context: Democratic and Republican lawmakers called on Menendez to resign after he was charged with accepting bribes to benefit three New Jersey businessmen and the Egyptian government. Menendez temporarily stepped down from his position as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Friday. On Saturday, Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ) said he would challenge Menendez in the 2024 Democratic primary. Menendez was also charged with bribery in 2017, but a judge declared a mistrial when the jury failed to reach a verdict. 

How the Media Covered It: Mainstream news coverage was generally similar across bias ratings; some coverage from the right focused on Menendez’s hiring of a lawyer who also represents Hunter Biden. Some headlines sensationalized the story, framing Menendez as guilty; HuffPost (Left bias) called him “GOLD BAR BOB,” and the New York Post (Lean Right bias) used the tagline, “BOB AND WEAVE.” 

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