Published On: Thu, Nov 2nd, 2023

Fetterman introduces resolution that would bar Menendez from classified briefings

Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., introduced a resolution on Thursday that would strip Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey of his committee assignments and bar him access to classified information and briefings.

The resolution specifically targets senators indicted for crimes affecting national security, barring them from serving on congressional committees, receiving classified information, submitting spending requests for appropriation bills, or using official funds for international travel. 

While the resolution does not name Menendez directly, Fetterman appeared to take aim at the New Jersey Democrat, who has been accused of accepting bribes from a foreign government and conspiring to act as a foreign agent, in a statement announcing the resolution.

“When you find gold bars stuffed in a mattress, the jokes write themselves. But our national security isn’t funny, it’s often life or death,” Fetterman said Thursday, adding the Senate “must act to protect national security and the institution itself.”

Fetterman was the first Democratic senator to call for Menendez to resign in September.

His resolution comes a day after Menendez attended a classified briefing on Ukraine held by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Pressed by reporters after the meeting if it was appropriate for him to attend while facing such accusations, Menendez said, “The bottom line is I am a United States senator, I have my security credentials, and an accusation is just that, it’s not proof of anything.”

Menendez stepped down as chair of that committee shortly after his indictment.

In a statement Thursday, Menendez blasted Fetterman’s proposed measure as a “publicity stunt” arguing that it ignored due process, the presumption of innocence, and the rule of law.

“Instead of focusing on generating clickbait, he should channel his efforts toward legislating and delivering results for the people of Pennsylvania,”  Menendez said.

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