Moments after Rep. George Santos was expelled from Congress, Sen. John Fetterman said another lawmaker should be next.
Santos, a New York Republican charged with fraud, was expelled in a bipartisan vote on Dec. 1, making him only the 21st member of Congress ever to be ousted through expulsion.
During an interview on ”The View” shortly after the House of Representatives’ vote, Sen. John Fetterman, a Pennsylvania Democrat, said he was “not surprised” by Santos’ removal.
“But to me, I think the more important picture is that we have a colleague in the Senate that actually (did) much more sinister and serious kinds of things,” Fetterman said, naming Sen. Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat.
“He needs to go,” Fetterman said. “If you are going to expel Santos, how can you allow somebody like Menendez to remain in the Senate?”
Menendez, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and his wife were charged with bribery in September.
He is accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars, including a Mercedes Benz and gold bars, in exchange for agreeing to help the Egyptian government, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
“Mr. Fetterman appears to think he’s judge, jury, and executioner,” Menendez said in a statement provided to McClatchy News, adding he “seems to be more interested in clickbait than justice.”
“He cannot say he stands for core constitutional principles of due process and the presumption of innocence when he is actively working to undermine my rights,” Menendez said. “I’m confident when all the facts are presented, I will be exonerated and the Senator will have to eat his words.”
The senators have traded barbs multiple times in recent months as Fetterman has repeatedly called for Menendez’ removal.
“The latest polling in New Jersey has your approval at 8%,” Fetterman said of his colleague in a Nov. 2 post on X. “You’re officially less popular than cold sores.”
In response to Fetterman’s persistent calls for his ousting, Menendez said, “He seems to be consumed by it,” according to Igor Bobic in a Huffington Post report. “I think there’s more important things to the people of Pennsylvania.”
This is now the second time Menendez has been charged with bribery. In 2015, he was indicted for allegedly accepting gifts from an ophthalmologist in exchange for leveraging his office to benefit the doctor’s financial interests.
During that trial in 2017, the jury was unable to reach a verdict, resulting in a mistrial, according to the New York Times.
A representative for Fetterman did not immediately respond to a request for comment from McClatchy News.
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