Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) this week mounted an unexpected defense of Sen. Bob Menendez, the New Jersey Democrat recently indicted on extensive bribery charges.
Menendez faces allegations that he accepted various bribes, including $480,000 in cash and $100,000 in gold bars, in return for improperly using his influence to benefit and enrich several New Jersey businessmen.
Although many of Menendez’s Democratic colleagues have suggested he resign, no Republican senators have called on him to step down, according to Business Insider.
In fact, on Tuesday, Cotton implored Menendez to remain in office.
In two posts on X, formerly known as Twitter, Cotton said that while the charges against Menendez “are serious and troubling,” he feels Menendez “should be judged by jurors and New Jersey’s voters, not by Democratic politicians who now view him as inconvenient to their hold on power.”
On one hand, it might appear as if Cotton is reminding his followers that Menendez, like all Americans, is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
But many people had other interpretations of Cotton’s posts (which may or may not have been ghostwritten).
Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) also defended Menendez’s “presumption of innocence,” saying “I don’t think he should resign” and lamenting that “the media has to stop acting like everybody is guilty before they’re even judged by a jury.”
Again, the person speaking here is George Santos.