Sen. Robert Menendez Indicted on Corruption Charges
The route of Latinos' political influence can't be seen without including Sen. Bob Menendez, who is facing federal charges, after a corruption investigation.
The Department of Justice's, on Wednesday, announced that a grand jury has indicted Menendez on the charges that he has misused his office to benefit a political donor improperly.
The charges have carried along significant ramifications for the Latino community, and will also affect the growing effort to increase the numbers and political influence of Hispanics in Congress.
In 2003, the New Jersey Democrat became the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. He was the first Latino to serve in House leadership, and is one of three Latinos in the U. S. Senate and the only one who is a Democrat.
Roberto Suro, a professor of public policy and the director of the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute at the University of Southern California, said, "He is clearly a very significant figure, being the lone Latino Democrat in the Senate and all the more so because there are two Republican Latinos in the Senate and one already has announced he's running for president and another is about to".
The effect of indictment has already been felt. This is because, shortly after the announcement of indictment, sources told NBC that Menendez was already looking forward to step down as top Democrat of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
In a news conference in Wednesday, a defiant Menendez has said that he is not going anywhere. He added that he started his 40 year political career fighting corruption, and just because he is under a cloud of accusations of corruption, it doesn't mean that his career will end.
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