NEWARK, N.J. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez made the following statement tonight:
“For nearly three years I’ve lived under a Justice Department cloud and today I am outraged that this cloud has not been lifted.
“I’m outraged that prosecutors at the Justice Department were tricked into starting this investigation three years ago with false allegations by those who have a political motive to silence me, but I will not be silenced. I’m confident – at the end of the day – I will be vindicated and they will be exposed.
“I began my political career – 40 years ago – fighting corruption in city government. I publicly complained about illegal financial dealings in my city until the FBI investigated and the U.S. Attorney filed corruption charges against the mayor and others. I was called to testify for the prosecution. I received death threats. I wore a bulletproof vest for a month. That’s how I began my career in public service. And this is not how my career is going to end.
“I have always conducted myself in accordance with the law. I have always stood up for what's right. I fight for the issues I believe in, the people I represent and for safety and security of this country every single day.
“That’s who I am and I’m proud of what I have accomplished. And I’m not going anywhere.
“I'm angry and ready to fight because today contradicts my public service career and my entire life.
“I'm angry because prosecutors at the Justice Department don't know the difference between friendship and corruption and have chosen to twist my duties as a Senator --and as a friend -- into something improper.
“They're dead wrong, and I'm confident they will be proven so.
“I am gratified to live in a country where prosecutors’ mistakes can be corrected by courts and juries and I ask my friends, colleagues and community to hold their judgment and remember all the other times where prosecutors have gotten it wrong.
“The people of this great state have elected me to serve and represent their interests in the United States Senate and that is exactly what I will do, no matter how long it takes to clear my good name. New Jersey is my home and I will continue to fight for you.”