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Sen. Bob Menendez reelection announcement expected by end of week

New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez plans to soon announce whether he’ll seek reelection while facing federal corruption charges.

“I’ll make an announcement this week,” the embattled Democratic lawmaker told NJ Spotlight News Tuesday night.

Menendez is accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and acting on behalf of foreign governments.

He’s expected to stand trial in a Manhattan federal court in May.

Since being indicted in September, Menendez has faced pressure to resign from fellow Democrats, including New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman.

Fetterman went so far as to surreptitiously solicit the services of disgraced former New York congressman George Santos, who unwittingly recorded a Cameo message in December encouraging “Bobby from New Jersey” to “stay strong.” Fetterman posted that video on Instagram and addressed it to his “ethically challenged colleague.”

Menendez would reportedly need 1,000 signatures by Monday to run for reelection as a Democrat, but could appear on ballots as an independent candidate in November if 800 signees back him by early June.

The United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District claims Menendez and his wife accepted cash, gold bars, a luxury automobile and home furnishings for “participating in a years-long bribery scheme.”

The senator, who assumed office in January 2006, maintains his innocence.

“Look forward to trial,” Menendez told NJ Spotlight News Tuesday. “Finally get my defense up.”

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