California Senator Leland Yee, who was arrested earlier this week on charges of conspiracy in gun trafficking and corruption, faces being voted out office if he does not step down voluntarily, reports The LA Times.
State lawmakers are preparing to suspend the senator, with Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg calling for a vote today to force Yee to step down if he does not do so on his own. Following his arrest on Wednesday and after appearing in court, Yee was released on $500,000 bail and the following morning ended his campaign to run for California's secretary of state. He has still not left the Senate.
Accusations against Yee include soliciting undercover FBI agents for $70,000 in campaign contributions in exchange for illicit favors. An FBI affidavit filed in federal court also alleges Yee conspired in gun trafficking, brokering a deal that would have sent a New Jersey mob group a large amount of weapons from the Philippines.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Steinberg openly addressed Yee and suggested he step down.
"Leave," Steinberg said. "Don't burden your colleagues and this great institution with your troubles. Leave."
A spokesman for California Governor Jerry Brown said in a statement that the "serious allegations" against Yee, if proven true, will require action. As of now, however, the governor "does not intend to preempt the Legislature or the courts by commenting at this time."
"It has become clear [Yee] has lost the confidence of his colleagues and for the good of his constituents should step down," added Senator Dianne Feinstein.
Yee has been a vocal opponent of video game violence and an advocate of gun control. He sponsored a bill in 2005 that eventually began the basis for the 2011 case Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association, in which the Supreme Court ruled video games are a protected form of expression under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.