Thu. Apr 25th, 2024

New Jersey Democrat targets Sen. Menendez’s access to classified information — and Trump’s

By 37ci3 Mar28,2024

WASHINGTON — Now indicted on 18 federal charges, Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., is facing a growing campaign of pressure from his colleagues in Congress.

Rep. Mikie Sherrill, DN.J., will make the announcement legislation On Friday, it would bar those charged with certain crimes from receiving classified information, indirectly targeting Menendez, who has been charged with bribery, conspiracy with foreign governments and other charges.

If approved by Congress, the bill, known as the Protecting the United States Against Undisclosed Disclosures Act, or the GUARD Act for short, would apply to any federal official or candidate accused of undermining US national security, acting as a foreign agent, or obstructing official proceedings. or illegally retaining classified national defense information, according to a copy first shared with NBC News.

The bill could also apply to former President Donald Trump. In addition to members of Congress, Sherrill’s legislation would cover the president, vice president, candidates for federal office who receive classified information, the military, and employees of the Transportation Security Administration and the US Postal Service.

impeached Trump mishandling of confidential information and with obstructive Congressional approval of the results of the 2020 presidential elections, will soon begin receiving intelligence briefingsto ensure a smooth transition of power, as is customary for presidential candidates. That’s one of the reasons Sherrill is introducing the legislation now.

“We have a former president who leaked secrets to enemies, tried to hide and destroy information, was not clear about what he was keeping, and is now under indictment for those violations.” “And should our intelligence community start briefing him?

“This legislation seeks to eliminate that and make sure that accused persons cannot access state secrets,” he said.

Trump and Menendez have pleaded not guilty and neither has yet gone to trial. Sherrill, a former federal prosecutor and Navy pilot, believes no one should have access to classified information at this time.

Sherrill called on Menendez to resign hours after he was initially indicted in September and accused of receiving lavish gifts in exchange for using his influence as the then-powerful Foreign Relations Committee chairman.

Menendez resigned as chairman in the fall, but rejected calls to resign from Congress by more than half of his Democratic Senate colleagues and the entire New Jersey House delegation, except for his son, Robert Menendez Jr., a Democrat.

“I have long been concerned about maintaining access to classified information from people who seem willing to give away state secrets or compromise our national security,” Sherrill said. “So when Menendez is accused of acting as a foreign agent — how a man like that could have access to classified information when he was already in such a powerful position of abuse is mind-boggling to me.”

His bill, with majorities in the House and Senate, would overturn it and allow access to sensitive information in each case.

Menendez’s most vocal critic, Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., introduced his own resolution to strip him from his committee posts and bar him from receiving classified information after he continued to attend briefings on sensitive national security issues. But this law has not gone anywhere. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., described Menendez’s legal challenges as “serious allegations” but declined to call for his resignation.

Sherrill said she did not discuss her efforts with Fetterman.

Despite growing criticism and increased scrutiny, Menendez announced this month, he will run again as an independent if he is acquitted. He is scheduled to go on trial in May and has a June 4 deadline to enter a separate plea.

“At a time like this, when our former president like Trump is trying to question many institutions of our government, many of our values, it is very important that we have leaders that people can trust. Sherrill said.

“I don’t think anyone can trust Menendez, who uses his position to enrich himself, who, in a Trump-like way, puts his own interests before the interests of the nation, to be honest. ,” he said.

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By 37ci3

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