Sources: Menendez stepping down as top Dem on Senate panel

AP News
Posted: Apr 01, 2015 5:56 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two sources say indicted New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez is voluntarily stepping aside from his post as top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

A Democratic official says Menendez planned to announce his decision Wednesday evening. The other source says Menendez would relinquish the post only temporarily.

As ranking Democrat on that committee, Menendez has been enmeshed in Congress' dispute with President Barack Obama over administration efforts to strike a deal with Iran limiting its nuclear program.

Menendez is a sponsor of bipartisan legislation that would require the president to submit any agreement to Congress for a vote and bar the administration from waiving any congressional sanctions on Tehran for 60 days.

The sources requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.