Bhalla supports Sen. Menendez-targeted GUARD Act, asks Rep. Menendez to follow


Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla said he supports the GUARD Act that would prevent any federal official or candidate that has been charged with a crime from having access to classified info and he’s asking his primary opponent, U.S. Rep. Rob Menendez (D-8), to do the same.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“It is essential to our national security that we safeguard classified information. It is the only way to retain the trust of other nations, so they continue to share valuable intelligence secrets, as well as to protect sources and methods,” Bhalla said in a statement.

“Elected officials, candidates and other federal office holders who are facing charges for serious crimes that jeopardize our national security should lose their access to top secret information. I strongly back the GUARD Act—and will co-sponsor it as a member of Congress … I call on Rob Menendez Jr to publicly back the Guard Act and sign on as a co-sponsor.”

The bill, introduced by U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-11), a potential gubernatorial candidate, earlier this month, currently only has one co-sponsor in U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) and it is therefore unlike to gain any steam this session.

While it’s not exactly a secret, Sherrill said in an April 16th email blast that the bill targets U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Rob’s father who is facing a litany of charges including acting as a foreign agent to Egypt and trying to secure a development deal with the Qatar government and co-defendant Fred Daibes, as well as former President Donald Trump.

“Because Donald Trump — who has been indicted on federal charges for mishandling classified documents and for his role in attempting to overturn the 2020 election results — is all but certain to win the Republican nomination for President,” she wrote.

” … And yes, this would apply to Senator Menendez, too, who has been charged with abusing his power as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by accepting bribes from foreign governments. Republican or Democrat, if you undermine our laws, our country, and our Constitution — you must be held accountable.”

In response, Rep. Menendez said that Bhalla is again resorting to “performative politics” since he can’t talk about his own track record.

“While I have built a record of getting things done here and in Congress, Ravi resorts to performative antics because he needs to distract voters from his extensive history of ethical issues – a suspended law license, gaming pay-to-play laws, and more. Ravi knows that he can’t talk about his unethical record, so he simply attacks me,” he stated.

“I continue to focus our campaign on an unwavering commitment to our shared values with the people across this district and the tangible results we have delivered for them.”

The primary election in New Jersey is on June 4th, where first time candidate Kyle Jasey will also be running as a Democrat in the 8th District congressional race.

As for Senator Menendez, he is currently scheduled to go to trial in Manhattan federal court beginning on May 13th.

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