Sen. Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) will not run as a Democrat for reelection to his U.S. Senate seat, though he is leaving open the possibility that he could run as an independent.

Last week, Menendez pleaded not guilty to 12 new felony charges of bribery and extortion claiming that the senator attempted to obstruct a federal investigation into previous charges of bribery, bringing the total count of his indictment to 18. This marks the third case in which Menendez is accused of bribery.

The New Jersey Democrat was indicted earlier in the month on newly introduced charges of bribery and extortion that claim his lawyers gave false information to investigators per his orders.

His wife, Nadine Arslanian Menendez, was also indicted in New York’s southern district on the same charges of bribery and has also maintained that she is not guilty.

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Two other co-defendants, Wael Hana and Fred Daibes were also charged with honest services wire fraud and bribery and pleaded not guilty.

In September 2023, Menendez was arraigned based on charges that he had accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. He, his wife and two other co-defendants were charged in October 2023 in a plot for Menendez to act as a foreign agent of Egypt.

These new charges were introduced after a fifth defendant, a businessman from New Jersey named Jose Uribe, pleaded guilty in early March.

“Once again, not guilty, your honor,” Menendez said in court, asserting his innocence to Judge Sidney Stein. Menendez has insisted throughout that he is innocent of all charges and accusations made against him and stated that he will not be stepping down from his role in the Senate.

Menendez’s trial date is set for May 6.

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