Fetterman plans to return donation tied to Menendez 'in envelopes stuffed with $100 bills,' spokesman says

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Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., arrives for Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s meeting with U.S. senators in the Capitol, Sept. 21, 2023.

Bill Clark | Cq-roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., will return $5,000 in contributions from a political action committee tied to Sen. Bob Menendez “in envelopes stuffed with $100 bills” because of the New Jersey Democrat’s indictment on bribery charges, Fetterman’s spokesman said.

Fetterman’s campaign received the donation from Menendez’s leadership PAC during the 2022 election cycle, according to the nonpartisan site OpenSecrets.

The Pennsylvania senator’s spokesman told NBC News, “We are in the process of returning the money in envelopes stuffed with $100 bills.”

The news was first reported by The Messenger.

Fetterman was the first Democratic senator to call on Menendez to resign after he and his wife, Nadine Menendez, were charged with three bribery-related counts in federal court in New York.

On Monday, two other Democrats, Sens. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Peter Welch of Vermont, also called for Menendez to step down.

“Senator Menendez has broken the public trust and should resign from the U.S. Senate,” Brown said in a statement.

Brown leads the powerful Senate Banking Committee, which Menendez sits on.

Prosecutors said that during a raid last year on Menendez’s New Jersey home and a safe deposit box, federal agents found more than $480,000 in cash, scores of gold bars and a luxury vehicle that were the “fruits of [the couple’s] corrupt bribery agreement” with three New Jersey businessmen.Menendez has refused to resign.

During a statement to reporters Monday, Menendez suggested that the cash found by investigators “were monies drawn from my personal savings account based on the income that I have lawfully derived.”