In light of his indictment Wednesday, Sen. Robert Menendez is sending a message to supporters: He's not backing down, and he wants your help.
In a video released Thursday, the New Jersey Democrat thanked his supporters for standing behind him. Menendez pleaded not guilty before a Newark federal judge Thursday in his corruption case.
"I won't mince words: Today is a difficult day," Menendez said at the start of the video. "But it is far less difficult because I know I have done nothing wrong and because I am strengthened by the unwavering support of so many people across New Jersey and across the usual partisan lines."
In addition to the video, the website IStandWithBob.Com has launched, showing New Jersey politicians, including fellow Sen. Cory Booker, making statements of support. The website, which is paid for by the senator's campaign committee, Menendez for Senate, also allows people to contribute money.
Menendez highlighted his work in serving the people of New Jersey, which included ensuring aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy, supporting economic fighting for immigration reform, and standing with families whose loved ones have autism—likely a hat tip to Thursday being Autism Awareness Day.
"These fights inspire me to continue this work with you," he said, again highlighting how he started his career fighting government corruption and had to wear a bulletproof vest. "That's how I began my career, and that's not how my career is going to end, because I have always, always conducted myself in accordance with the law."
Menendez pointed out his attempts to strengthen sanctions against Iran as well as his support for Israel, two points on which he clashed with President Obama's administration and occasionally found himself in agreement with Republicans.
Menendez sharply criticized the process of his indictment.
"It saddens me that our system of justice has already failed at its most basic level by leaking information and peddling rumors," he said. "But that failure affords me the opportunity to finally show, beyond a doubt that the charges leveled today and through a nearly three-year campaign of innuendo and smears are completely false."
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Eric Garcia is a staff correspondent for National Journal. He previously was a transparency reporter for MarketWatch, where he reported on financial regulation issues. His work has also appeared in the Southern Political Report, Salon, the American Prospect and the New Republic. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and covered politics for its campus paper, the Daily Tar Heel.