To protect the integrity of our democracy, Senator Robert Menendez
We are a group of nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations representing millions of Americans
nationwide committed to protecting and strengthening our democracy and building an
ethical and accountable government. Many of us have worked hard to pass transformative
democracy reform including meaningful ethics reform by supporting legislation like the For
the People Act. It is with that background and purpose in mind that we write today to
encourage you to resign your Senate position.
The federal indictment unsealed against you on September 22nd – the second during your
career in the Senate – alleges a litany of misconduct and corruption. It contains evidence
implicating you in various schemes to profit off your position of trust in violation of your
oath of office. This includes your alleged participation, as you were ranking member and
then chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, in a scheme to help the government of Egypt
secure American taxpayer money and American-built weapons while its authoritarian ruler
was unlawfully detaining and torturing American citizens. These allegations paint a
damning picture of a senator who seemingly repeatedly placed his own personal interests
above the United States’ national security and democratic process.
You are, of course, entitled to a presumption of innocence and a fair trial to contest these
charges. It is your right as an American. However, we believe it is inappropriate for you to
remain in office while you exercise this right. The people of New Jersey chose you to
represent their interests in our government, and to legislate and regulate on their behalf.
Unfortunately, your alleged actions make it impossible for your constituents to trust that
you will do so. They deserve a senator they can trust to act on their behalf, without suspicion
of your conflicts of interest or attempts to enrich yourself.
Moreover, your indictment – and the actions of other current and former public servants
who also trade public trust for private profit – are leading to plunging faith in our democracy,
with a majority of Americans believing that our government is corrupt. Ridding our
government of corruption in all corners – or even the perception of corruption – is crucial to
our democratic survival and national security.
Your resignation would also help secure your legacy as a public servant. You have been a
leader in the fight to fix our broken immigration system, you’ve been part of major victories
for clean energy and the environment, and you’ve helped millions of Americans obtain
affordable and high quality healthcare. If you resign now you will leave that legacy largely intact.
If you refuse, your decision to cling to power without regard for the harm your
continued presence is doing to your constituents and to the institution of the Senate, will be
We encourage you to demonstrate a commitment to our democracy and ethical leadership
by resigning your position.
Alliance for Cuba Engagement and Respect (ACERE)
Anti-Corruption Data Collective
Center for American Progress
Center for International Policy
Chop Wood, Carry Water Daily Actions
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
Declaration for American Democracy Coalition
The Digital Democracy Project
End Citizens United//Let America Vote Action Fund
Free Speech For People
Golden Goose Kitchen
Indivisible Clackamas, 350 PDX
Lawyers Defending American Democracy
League of Conservation Voters
People Power United
Progressive Change Institute
Project On Government Oversight (POGO)
Stand Up America
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