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Casey Calls for Menendez to Resign, But Keeps $16,500 in ‘Gold Bar Bob’s’ Donations

Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and U.S. Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery County) have joined the chorus of Democrats calling on Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) to resign in the wake of federal bribery and corruption charges.

However, Casey is keeping some of the campaign cash he received from Menendez in the past.

In a statement Tuesday, Casey called serving in the U.S. Senate “a sacred trust.”

“The specific allegations outlined in the federal indictment indicate to me that Sen. Menendez violated that trust repeatedly. While he is entitled to the presumption of innocence, serving in public office is a privilege that demands a higher standard of conduct. Sen. Menendez should resign.”

A majority of U.S. Senate Democrats now say Menendez should step down, though the top Democrat — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) continues to stand by the embattled senator.

Menendez, who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee, is accused of pressuring several government agencies to help his business associates. Those associates, many with interests in Egypt, allegedly bribed him with cash, a sports car, an apartment, and even gold bars. Investigators found about $500,000 in cash and gold bars in Menendez’s home.

The senator insists he will not resign, saying he regularly withdrew money from the bank to keep at home because, growing up as a child of immigrants from Cuba, he learned a culture of fearing government confiscation of private wealth.

Menendez grew up in Union City, N.J.

Menedez donated generously from his U.S. Senate committee to fellow Democrats over the years, including $26,500 to Casey throughout three previous campaigns. On Tuesday, Casey announced he would be donating Menendez’s most recent donation of $10,000 to an “unspecified charity,” according to The Hill, but he was keeping the rest.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee cried foul.

“Bob Casey said he’s only giving back some of the money he received from corrupt Bob Menendez,” the NRSC said in a statement. “Why is Casey keeping $16,500 if he thinks Menendez’s money is dirty?”

Republicans have begun referring to Menendez as “Gold Bar Bob” in reference to the bullion found in his home.

The Pennsylvania Democrat is seeking a fourth term in the U.S. Senate next year.

Another recipient of Menendez money is Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.), who received $5,000 for his 2022 campaign. Fetterman was the first member of the U.S. Senate to call for Menendez to resign over the most recent charges. A Fetterman spokesperson told The Messenger, “We are in the process of returning the money in envelopes stuffed with $100 bills.”

“Sen. Menendez should resign,” Fetterman posted on social media. “He’s entitled to the presumption of innocence, but he cannot continue to wield influence over national policy, especially given the serious and specific nature of the allegations.

“I hope he chooses an honorable exit and focuses on his trial.”

This is not the first time the New Jersey politician faced a federal indictment. A mistrial was declared in 2017 when a split jury failed to convict him on corruption charges.

New Jersey Congressman Andy Kim (D) has already declared he will run against Menendez in the 2024 primary.

“After calls to resign, Sen. Menendez said, ‘I am not going anywhere.’ As a result, I feel compelled to run against him. Not something I expected to do, but N.J. deserves better. We cannot jeopardize the Senate or compromise our integrity,” Kim posted on X.

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Counterpoint: Unwarranted Charges Demonstrate Two-Tiered Justice System

For an alternate viewpoint, see “Point: The Indictments Fit the Crimes.”  

Since leaving the White House in January 2021, former president Donald Trump has become public enemy No. 1 in the eyes of the Department of Justice and several district attorneys.

To date, Trump has been charged with 34 felonies by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for falsifying business records. The 45th president faces more than 40 felony counts in the investigation concerning classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. And, he has been charged with four felonies by Special Counsel Jack Smith regarding his role in the January 6 incident. Trump is also expected to be charged for his role in the supposed plot to overturn the Georgia election results.

If convicted on just a few of these charges, Trump will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.

First, it should be mentioned that Trump is the only former (or current) president to be charged with criminal activity. Coincidentally or not, Trump is the only president to be impeached twice.

Second, a strong argument can be made that most of these charges are political in nature.

Consider, for example, the charges levied by Bragg, who boasted during his campaign that he would leave no stone unturned in his quest to charge Trump. In fact, the case Bragg is prosecuting was not pursued by his predecessor or the Federal Election Commission.

In his two years as district attorney, Bragg has gone out of his way to ensure that violent criminals are treated with kid gloves. Moreover, Bragg has downgraded 52 percent of felonies to misdemeanors. Over the period, he has also emptied New York City’s prisons even as violent crime has soared throughout the Big Apple. Yet, while appearing before the media to announce the Trump indictment, Bragg said, with a straight face, “These are felony crimes in New York state, no matter who you are. We cannot and will not normalize serious criminal conduct.”

The same dynamic applies to the case brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith, who has a long history of mishandling investigations into prominent politicians, including a conviction on bribery charges levied against former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell that was overturned by the Supreme Court.

Third, and perhaps most significant, while the Justice Department and district attorneys pull out all the stops to put Trump behind bars, they conveniently downplay and slow-walk investigations against Trump’s political opponents.

Over the years, Justice has refused to seek charges against Hillary Clinton for deleting 33,000 government emails or her attempt to smear her 2016 opponent, Trump, with the totally false Steele dossier.

Most incredibly, Justice has refused to investigate appropriately Hunter Biden and his father, President Biden, aka the Big Guy, even as the evidence of Hunter’s shady deals with foreign governments —  including China, Russia and Ukraine — increases daily. In fact, according to recent whistleblower testimony, the Justice Department intervened and prevented a robust investigation into a bevy of alleged crimes perpetuated by Hunter and, possibly, the Big Guy.

And, lest we forget Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop, which allegedly documents a litany of crimes committed by the Biden family? Unbelievably, the laptop remains in FBI custody while Hunter was recently offered a sweetheart plea deal in which he would avoid a single day of jail time.

Meanwhile, the GOP-led investigation into the Biden family’s misdeeds reveals more than 170 suspicious activity reports pertaining to banking transactions from foreign oligarchs to Biden-family bank accounts. This comes on top of bombshell testimony by Hunter’s business partner, Devon Archer, who acknowledged that then-Vice President Biden was involved in Hunter’s overseas business deals with members of the Chinese Communist Party and the widow of the mayor of Moscow, who allegedly sent Hunter $3.5 million.

Fortunately, the American people see through this charade. Recent polls show that the vast majority of Republicans, and a slight majority of all Americans, believe that the wave of charges against Trump is “politically motivated.”

On the other hand, polls also show that most Americans believe Hunter Biden, and possibly Joe, are being given preferential treatment.

The U.S. justice system has been corrupted and weaponized. Donald Trump is just one example. This should be disconcerting to all Americans, regardless of political affiliation. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Justice cannot be for one side alone but must be for both.”

DelVal Reacts to Historic Indictment of Former President Trump

As news broke that former President Donald Trump was ordered to turn himself in on Tuesday to face charges related to his handling of secret documents and the raid on his Florida home, Mar-a-Lago, DelVal reaction fell largely along party lines.

The 37-count indictment includes violations of the Espionage Act for allegedly mishandling classified documents and also names Trump’s aide, Walt Nauta, as a co-defendant.

Special Counsel Jack Smith said, “The indictment was unsealed, charging Donald J. Trump with felony violations of our national security laws, as well as participating in a conspiracy to obstruct justice. A grand jury of citizens in the Southern District of Florida voted this indictment. And I invite everyone to read it in full to understand the scope and the gravity of the crimes charged.”

Trump rejected the indictment as partisan politics.

“The corrupt Biden administration has informed my attorneys that I have been Indicted, seemingly over the Boxes Hoax,” Trump said in a statement, “even though Joe Biden has 1850 Boxes at the University of Delaware, additional Boxes in Chinatown, D.C., with even more Boxes at the University of Pennsylvania, and documents strewn all over his garage floor where he parks his Corvette, and which is ‘secured’ by only a garage door that is paper thin, and open much of the time.”

“I AM AN INNOCENT MAN!” (Emphasis in original), he added.

Trump is already awaiting trial in New York on state charges related to handling business records. Most legal observers say that the case is weak at best, feeding the belief among Trump supporters that progressive District Attorney Alvin Bragg was politically motivated.

Many Trump supporters are outraged, while Democrats believe Trump deserves to be charged. Will this deter Trump’s supporters in the presidential campaign? Time will tell.

“While legally, this indictment seems more threatening to the former president, I’m not sure it poses any new political threats to him at this point,” said Christopher P. Borick, professor of political science and director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion. “The indictment does force his Republican challengers to either offer a degree of support or simply stand on the sidelines for a while, essentially providing Trump a short-term advantage.

“For his base, the indictment will do nothing but enhance their support. If ultimately convicted, it will certainly weigh on a general election audience and hobble his chances if he was the GOP nominee,” Borick added.

Former Republican chairman for Area 3 in Montgomery County Kurt Stein said, “Yesterday was a dark day for our once great country. The indictment of a former president, a current presidential candidate, is a tipping point for our republic. The weaponization of the Department of Justice (DOJ) against a president who has the authority to declassify documents is setting a dangerous precedent. Biden and Pence had classified documents, and they were vice presidents with no authority and no charges. The media is complicit as they do not report on any of the many Biden scandals.

“I do not believe this will have a negative impact on Trump in the Republican primary, as it will bring more voters to Trump,” Stein added. “Competition in a primary is good for Trump, as it will show the public that Trump is the only candidate who can fight the corruption in Washington.”

Kim Bedillion, president of the Pennridge Area Republican Club, said, “It is outrageous that a sitting president and his swamp cronies would weaponize federal law enforcement in a blatant attempt to take out a political opponent. The American people are fed up with the left’s penchant for using the strong arm of the government to target their political rivals, whether it be parents labeled as domestic terrorists, a pro-life street preacher yanked out of his home in front of his crying children, or the eternal witch hunt involving President Trump. The unprecedented action of Joe Biden and his swampy DOJ to indict President Trump will only serve to unify conservatives around President Trump in the primary.”

But Christian Nascimento, chair of the Montgomery County Republican Committee, had a different view.

“This certainly will not help Trump expand his base of support and may help to erode some of it,” said Nascimento. “Regardless, yet another legal issue for Trump will absolutely have an impact on the GOP primary. Trump’s most core supporters may not be moved away from him by this, but for the other candidates, all of whom are positioning themselves as superior to the former president in areas of competency, character, or values, this presents yet another data point in their efforts to move the GOP past the Trump era.”

Charlotte Valyo, chair of the Chester County Democratic Committee, said, “It is a cornerstone of our justice system that no one is above the law, including a former president. It is also a cornerstone of our justice system that everyone, including former President Trump, is entitled to due process and the opportunity to mount a defense. We will await the outcome of a fair and transparent process, as we would in any other case, to determine any impact this may have on the 2024 presidential campaign.”

Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Delaware/Philadelphia) tweeted: “A second grand jury of ordinary Americans has indicted disgraced and twice-impeached former President Trump, this time on federal criminal charges. The Speaker calls the indictments unconscionable — what is unconscionable is the alleged criminal conduct.”

And Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery) took a swipe at House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in a retweet: “Just a reminder that Mr. McCarthy spent more time writing this tweet to defend the disgraced former President than he spent leading the House this week. House Republicans were so disorganized that they ended the session week early because they couldn’t get anything done.”

McCarthy @SpeakerMcCarthy had previously tweeted, “Today is indeed a dark day for the United States of America. It is unconscionable for a President to indict the leading candidate opposing him. Joe Biden kept classified documents for decades. I, and every American who believes in the rule of law, stand with President Trump against this grave injustice. House Republicans will hold this brazen weaponization of power accountable.”

The Trump campaign, which is fundraising off the indictment news, issued this statement: “This bogus indictment is not only election interference from the Biden Justice Department but an attempt to distract from the revelation that foreign nationals bribed Biden. It’s not coincidental that the indictment news came just hours after reports revealed that Joe Biden was paid $5 million in a ‘pay-to-play scheme.’”

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Reaction to the Indictment of Former President Trump: Shock, Sadness, Anger

Donald Trump was indicted Thursday by a New York grand jury, becoming the first former U.S. president to face criminal charges.

Is it a dark day in history, or is justice being served?

The Delaware Valley Journal noticed the following reactions on Twitter:

Radio talk show host Rich Zeoli: “N.Y. has no jurisdiction in this case, and it’s a joke prosecution anyway.”

“Somebody should be indicted, but it sure as hell isn’t Trump.”—Sean Parnell, former Senate candidate, veteran, and author.

Political consultant Dave La Torre said, “This is the ultimate #Trump Derangement Syndrome move. This may be the most spectacular backfire in American political history.”

Radio talk show host Dawn Stensland Mendte: “Breaking: First time in American History: Former President Indicted By Manhattan Grand Jury. Trump faces criminal charges. Unbelievable.”

Scott Presler, Republican voting drive organizer: “President Trump has been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury. If they can come for him, they can come for every single one of us…and they will.”

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel:  “When our justice system is weaponized as a political tool, it endangers all of us. This is a blatant abuse of power from a DA focused on political vengeance instead of keeping people safe.”

U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester/Berks): “No person is above the law and all people are innocent until proven guilty as guaranteed by the Constitution. President Trump is no exception. Any protest regarding any indictment should be conducted peacefully and respectful of all state and federal laws.”

DVJournal asked others for their thoughts.

“Everyone in the MAGA community and moderate Republicans alike know this is a politically motivated charge. It will come back to haunt the Democrats as Trump’s supporters are now pissed and stronger than ever.”– Mike Domanico, owner of  The Trump Store.

“We’re waiting for the other shoe to drop in Washington at the Department of Agriculture where they must be set to announce massive subsidies for the U.S. banana industry to assure truth in labeling: America is now officially a banana republic.”—Michael Caputo, former Trump administration assistant secretary of public affairs in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin), the Republican candidate for governor in 2022 who had Trump’s endorsement, called it, “A dangerous politicization of our justice system.”

Mastriano added, “The weaponizing of  your justice system against the leading Republican candidate for president is unprecedented, disconcerting and dangerous.  This is a dark time for America.”

Frank Agovino, chair of the Delaware County Republican Committee said, “President Trump’s indictment is a sad day for the nation. While no one is above the law, likewise the American justice system should never be utilized to advance any political agenda. Hopefully, the facts will become clear and American people will be the final judge. That said, it my sincere hope that Delco voters remain focused on the local issues, and refute Democrat leadership that has given so many communities fiscal instability, a lack of integrity in government, streets that are less safe, and misguided priorities.”

And Berwood Yost, director of the Center for Opinion Research at Franklin & Marshall College, said, “I think it is safe to say that his supporters will be galvanized and rally around him right now, but the longer-term political consequences will be determined by the evidence and the course of the trial, particularly by how independent and moderate voters see it.”

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