Sen. Bob Menendez declines to say whether he’ll resign should forthcoming trial result in conviction

Sen. Bob Menendez declined to say whether he’ll resign should his forthcoming federal corruption trial result in a conviction.

The New Jersey Democrat told CNN’s Manu Raju on Capitol Hill last week, “I am looking forward to proving my innocence,” when asked repeatedly whether he would resign in the face of a potential conviction.

Menendez’s trial is expected to begin with jury selection on Monday. He is facing bribery charges for allegedly taking steps to benefit the governments of Egypt and Qatar and help several New Jersey businessmen while receiving in exchange gold bars, cash, a luxury car and Formula One Grand Prix race tickets.

He has forcefully denied the charges against him and has said that he will prove his innocence while claiming that he is being persecuted by prosecutors.

Menendez will face a jury alongside two New Jersey businessmen who are co-defendants. His wife, Nadine, also has been charged but will be tried separately.

The trial is scheduled to last several weeks, as prosecutors try to prove that Menendez and the businessmen, Wael Hana and Fred Daibes, engaged in a wide-ranging corruption scheme to help the Egyptian and Qatari governments in exchange for lucrative bribes.

Prosecutors, for their part, will be allowed to show the jury evidence that Menendez and his wife allegedly used the money from their scheme to live lavishly.

Though Menendez stepped down as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last year, he has rejected calls to resign from his Senate seat.

Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania, the first Democratic senator to call for Menendez to resign, echoed his previous statements about Menendez last week, calling the New Jersey Democrat a “sleazeball.”

“He won’t be around much longer. That would be my bet,” Fetterman said.

While Menendez did not file for reelection in the Democratic primary for his seat, he left open the possibility that he could run as an independent candidate in a video posted in March.

For more CNN news and newsletters create an account at