Senator Bob Menendez, a Democratic representative from New Jersey facing accusations of accepting significant bribes in exchange for political favors, has announced his decision not to seek reelection.

In a nine-minute video shared on Thursday, Menendez cited the accusations he faces related to a prolonged bribery scheme as the reason for his withdrawal from the reelection race. However, he left open the possibility of running as an independent candidate after his federal trial.

“Unfortunately, the current accusations I am facing, of which I am innocent and will prove so, will not allow me to engage in the type of dialogue and debate with political opponents that New Jerseyans deserve,” Menendez stated in the video.

He further expressed hope for exoneration in the upcoming summer months, which would enable him to pursue candidacy as an independent Democrat in the general election.

This announcement comes shortly before the deadline for primary candidates to file for their candidacy.

Throughout the video, Menendez detailed his achievements since his initial election to represent New Jersey in 2006.

Menendez was indicted in September on charges related to an alleged bribery scheme, along with his wife Nadine Menendez and two New Jersey businessmen. The couple is accused of accepting substantial bribes, including cash, gold bars, jewelry, and a Mercedes-Benz convertible, in exchange for political favors benefiting the governments of Egypt and Qatar.

In March, prosecutors brought forth a superseding indictment, alleging that Menendez attempted to disguise the bribes as “loans.” His trial is scheduled for May.

Following the indictment, Menendez faced calls for resignation from several colleagues, including Senator Cory Booker. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer expressed deep disappointment in Menendez, although he stopped short of calling for his expulsion.

The indictment also sparked a contentious Democratic primary race to fill Menendez’s seat, with Congressman Andy Kim garnering grassroots support and Tammy Murphy, New Jersey’s first lady and wife of Governor Phil Murphy, receiving backing from much of the state’s Democratic political establishment.

Given New Jersey’s solidly blue status, the Senate seat is likely to remain in Democratic hands. In 2018, Menendez easily won reelection after a mistrial for corruption charges, although the indictment compelled him to step down from his role as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.