(The Hill) — Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., on Tuesday said he was surprised he was the first senator to call for Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., to resign.
Fetterman, who joined MSNBC’s Joy Reid, compared Menendez’s federal bribery allegations to that of Tony Soprano.
“Honestly, I was actually surprised that I was the first one,” he said. “I mean it’s so black and white. I mean, it’s so clear”
“The last time there’s ever been a man with so much cash in their home in New Jersey was Tony Soprano. You know?” Fetterman added.
“I hope he chooses an honorable exit and focuses on his trial,” the Pennsylvania senator said Saturday in a statement.
Now, 18 Democratic senators have joined that list, including fellow New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.
Fetterman said he can’t speak for everyone in the Senate but thinks Menendez should step down.
“I mean … it’s not a close call and if you were looking for the most incriminating kinds of evidence, nobody could even come up with gold bars in a mattress,” he said. “So… he’s entitled to have his day in court, but he is not entitled to remain in the Senate and he needs to go.”
Prosecutors allege that Menendez and his wife, Nadine Arslanian, accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from New Jersey businessmen and used their political influence to benefit Egypt. The FBI reportedly found $500,000 in cash and more than $100,000 in gold bars at Menendez’s New Jersey home.
Menendez has denied the allegations, calling them a smear campaign and refuses to resign.
“New Jersey is a safe, blue seat and they have a governor ready to appoint somebody that’s ready to step in and make the kind of votes that he needs to do,” Fetterman said. “It’s never been about him. It’s been about the Senate and the integrity, and he needs to go.”
The New Jersey senator and his wife are set to be arraigned on Wednesday morning in Manhattan.