TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Democrats have rushed to support indicted U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, and Republican Gov. Chris Christie says everyone deserves the presumption of innocence.
Christie said Wednesday in a statement there is no reason “for me or anybody else to get ahead of ourselves” after a federal grand jury charged that Menendez, a Democrat, took gifts from a friend in exchange for political favors.
Menendez said in Newark on Wednesday that he will be “vindicated” and that he acted in accordance with the law.
“I am not going anywhere,” he said.
U.S. Sen. Cory Booker said Menendez has never wavered in his commitment to residents of their state.
U.S. Rep. Albio Sires said the charges against Menendez “are just an accusation.”
“My friend Bob Menendez is not going anywhere,” Sires said in a statement. “I know that he will get through this and nothing will distract him from doing what he does best, fighting for New Jersey.”
The state Democratic Committee publicized the Twitter hashtag #IStandWithBob and encouraged people to follow the account @IStandWithBob.
The supportive comments and Web-based campaign swiftly followed news of the indictments. The state Democratic Committee blasted out two emails with supportive statements. One of the emails read “Avalanche of NJ Officials Supporting Senator Bob Menendez.”
The email contained statements from six state Democratic officials.
There also is an IStandWithBob.com website, which allows Menendez’s supporters to donate to his cause. Clicking a link to contribute leads to a page with a campaign-style header that reads, “Bob Menendez United States Senator,” with a stylized American flag draped over the letters.
An archived version of that site shows what appears to be the senator’s campaign website from 2012, and MenendezforNJ.com automatically sends viewers to IStandWithBob.com.