Bob Menendez
Bob MenendezMichael Brochstein/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) announced on Thursday he will not run for reelection in the Democratic primary for his US Senate seat, though he left open the possibility that he could run as an independent candidate.

“I will not file for the Democratic primary this June. I am hopeful that my exoneration will take place this summer and allow me to pursue my candidacy as an independent Democrat in the general election,” Menendez, who is facing bribery and obstruction of justice charges, said in a video posted online, according to CNN.

Menendez was charged with three counts related to of using his political power to aid the government of Egypt and pressure state and federal prosecutors investigating New Jersey businessmen.

In January, federal prosecutors unveiled a superseding indictment against Menendez which alleges he accepted race car tickets and other gifts from Qatar as part of a yearslong corruption scheme.

His announcement came as he had faced calls to resign, including from a number of his Senate Democratic colleagues, as a result of the charges against them.

Menendez stepped down as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last year when he was initially charged but has rejected calls to resign from his US Senate seat.