Menendez prostitution allegations get a little more strange

posted at 8:01 am on January 25, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The presumed new chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee may have more explaining to do about his personal foreign relations.  Documents from the FBI obtained by the Daily Caller and published online indicate that the one or more of the prostitutes that Menendez allegedly frequented in the Dominican Republic may have been underage.  They also show that Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) provided the information to the FBI and also informed ABC News of the information — and yet neither went public with it prior to the election.  But was that to protect Menendez, or because the source never quite delivered the goods?

Documents published online for the first time Thursday indicate that the FBI opened an inquiry into New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez on August 1, 2012, focusing on repeated trips he took to the Dominican Republic with longtime campaign contributor and Miami eye doctor Salomon Melgen. TheDC reported in November that Menendez purchased the service of prostitutes in that Caribbean nation at a series of alcohol-fueled sex parties.

The documents, which The Daily Caller had obtained hours earlier from an anonymous source, also indicate that Carrie Levine, research director at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), was alerted on April 9, 2012 to Menendez’s habit of paying for sex while outside the United States.

ABC News senior investigative producer Rhonda Schwartz was aware as early as May 2, 2012, the documents show, when Levine wrote a source in the Dominican Republic to say that she had “shared your allegations, but not your identities, with a respected, trusted journalist with whom we have worked on other stories.”

In another email two days later, Levine identified that journalist as one who “works for ABC News.” By May 16, Schwartz was emailing Levine’s original source with questions.

Information made available to Schwartz and Levine at that time included allegations that some of Menendez’s prostitutes were as young as 16. The source also alleged that Sen. Menendez was taking “non-authorized trips” to the Dominican Republic, suggesting that he may have been evading Senate Ethics committee rules covering disclosures when third parties pay for a senator’s travel.

When the DC reported on the allegations about Menendez in November, I remained a little skeptical of the story from the prostitutes. At least in the e-mails in this release, the FBI seemed less skeptical.  “As far as the information you have provided, we have been able to confirm most of it,” the FBI investigator wrote to the source of the information, a “Peter Williams” that first contacted CREW.  The FBI refuses to comment at this stage, which is not atypical for an ongoing investigation, and perhaps for one closed without charges being filed.

However, this part seems pretty strange:

The emails indicate that as Christmas neared, Williams was reluctant to meet Chavez in person. A similar pattern developed quickly between Williams at CREW, where Carrie Levine pressed him for details and asked for phone meetings but got neither.

Much of the online dossier is unconfirmed and may ultimately be unconfirmable. But an additional source, unrelated to the documents, confirmed to TheDC on Thursday that ABC News was working on the Menendez story as late as mid-October.

Readers were annoyed with my skepticism about this story in November, but let me play devil’s advocate for just a little longer.  The FBI got some credible information from a source that refused to identify him/herself alerting them to Menendez’ actions in the Dominican Republic, much of which they were able to confirm, but who kept putting off an in-person meeting with investigators.  The DC separately gets a tip on the story and publishes the interview with two of the prostitutes, neither of whom knew until recently just who “Bob” was.  The source tells the FBI that the videotapes are “consistent” with what he/she has discovered about Menendez — but then suddenly goes radio silent with both the FBI and CREW despite telling the FBI that he/she had “additional evidence” that Menendez consorted with underage prostitutes.

Does that sound credible to readers? I’m not criticizing the DC for reporting what they have — an FBI probe and the ABC/CREW connection are newsworthy — but the overall allegations still sound rather fishy to me.  That may be why ABC News and CREW didn’t go forward with the story, too.  If the main source won’t meet with them, and with the allegations basically resting on the source for evidence (other than testimonials from the alleged prostitutes), that would certainly raise red flags on a story that would have been explosive if true, and disastrous to both organizations if untrue.  And all these e-mails show is that the FBI agent checked out some of the checkable data, asked for more in order to pursue the accusation, and the source stopped cooperating for some reason.  They don’t actually establish much more than that.

Menendez won his re-election by 18 points shortly after the story first appeared, so he won’t have to face voters for another five-plus years.  This could get worse if other sources step forward or the original source starts cooperating.  Unless that happens, though, it’s hard to tell if this is on the level or some sort of dirty trick.


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Imagine that.

A crooked democrat and whoremonger serving in our senate.

acyl72 on January 25, 2013 at 8:05 AM

T’eo may have a career at the FBI if football doesn’t work out.

forest on January 25, 2013 at 8:08 AM

So we continue to play by the rules while the Democrats and Left sit around the campfire joyfully burning the rule book…fine I am getting used to losing.

If this were a Republican senator the left would be crowing from the rooftops…and would proceed to destroy him. We play by the rules…that has been working out so well for us.

PierreLegrand on January 25, 2013 at 8:09 AM

Chairman!!!!! Of the Senate Foreign Relations comm?

It’s like “The Onion” is writing the real headlines in America now!

PappyD61 on January 25, 2013 at 8:12 AM

PierreLegrand on January 25, 2013 at 8:09 AM

Absolutely. I heard he didn’t pay any taxes either so I guess we can put that on a front page or two as well… They don’t even try to hide the double standard anymore.

deepdiver on January 25, 2013 at 8:15 AM

Whaaah? A Democrat who not only is a pedophile but also outsources his whoring needs? David Vitter didn’t do that. Eliot Spitzer was so concerned about his state’s economy he brought his whores with him on trips to DC and installed them in the Mayflower Hotel.

What is the Senate coming to?

Happy Nomad on January 25, 2013 at 8:16 AM

Caribbean 0rgies just don’t interest our high minded press

Slade73 on January 25, 2013 at 8:18 AM

What difference does it make?
Barney Frank had the operation going on in his basement and it was No Big Deal.

vityas on January 25, 2013 at 8:18 AM

Would his tween hookers be able to carry a gun if they were just WITH the Chairman?

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/feinstein-gun-control-bill-exempt-government-officials_697732.html

Or does he like it “Toddler Style”?

Hey Jersey voters……..what the SHINOLA is wrong wit choo?

PappyD61 on January 25, 2013 at 8:18 AM

Hey Jersey voters……..what the SHINOLA is wrong wit choo?

PappyD61 on January 25, 2013 at 8:18 AM

There is no common sense in the state that loves Snookie and Chris Christie.

Happy Nomad on January 25, 2013 at 8:20 AM

that’s just sick

no one likes it toddler style except Harry Reid

Slade73 on January 25, 2013 at 8:21 AM

Of course, Senator Menendez DID have an illegal immigrant, who was a registered sex offender, on his staff, which might be indicative of a certain level of tolerance/simpatico-ness on the part of “Bob” because “Hey, you know, I screw underage prostitutes in the DR so I like totally understand.”

Resist We Much on January 25, 2013 at 8:21 AM

Seems that Dem men are frequently attracted to women young enough to be their daughers!

ctmom on January 25, 2013 at 8:21 AM

So we continue to play by the rules while the Democrats and Left sit around the campfire joyfully burning the rule book…fine I am getting used to losing.

If this were a Republican senator the left would be crowing from the rooftops…and would proceed to destroy him. We play by the rules…that has been working out so well for us.

PierreLegrand on January 25, 2013 at 8:09 AM

The double standard in politics (see Hillary) is bleeding into civilian life (see unions). The media has become information control valve for between the political elite and the masses. It is so disgusting, it hurts.

Fallon on January 25, 2013 at 8:23 AM

Seems that Dem men are frequently attracted to women young enough to be their daughers!
ctmom on January 25, 2013 at 8:21 AM

Did someone claim the prostitutes were women?

PierreLegrand on January 25, 2013 at 8:25 AM

The media has become information control valve for between the political elite and the masses. It is so disgusting, it hurts.

Fallon on January 25, 2013 at 8:23 AM

The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses.

- Vladimir Lenin

Resist We Much on January 25, 2013 at 8:25 AM

Caribbean 0rgies just don’t interest our high minded press

Slade73 on January 25, 2013 at 8:18 AM

Caribbean jaunts with Democrats don’t interest our press. Put somebody with an R behind their names and the media would be like white on rice on the story. Chris Matthews, Rachael Maddow, and David Gregory would all be standing shirtless on the beach in front of the resort doing a remote about what was going in the hotel behind them. Mika and Joe would be moralizing about the fall of political ethics. There would be endless columns of newsprint calling for the individual to resign in disgrace.

But with a Democrat…… What difference does it make?

Happy Nomad on January 25, 2013 at 8:26 AM

Did someone claim the prostitutes were women?

PierreLegrand on January 25, 2013 at 8:25 AM

Teenage girls/women. Two of them have already given their statements on video. The DC had the videos back in November.

Resist We Much on January 25, 2013 at 8:27 AM

Pic of the Day: The Obama Administration’s Official Screaming Banshee

Resist We Much on January 25, 2013 at 8:23 AM

Pelosi got fired?

Happy Nomad on January 25, 2013 at 8:27 AM

In other words its OK to hire a prostitute if they are 18 or older!! But… if they are 16 you are in big trouble!!
Must be nice to be Demoncrat and operate under different rules!!

rodguy911 on January 25, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Pelosi got fired?

Happy Nomad on January 25, 2013 at 8:27 AM

She’s now the Minority Leader of the Obama Administration’s Official Screaming Banshee Caucus.

Resist We Much on January 25, 2013 at 8:33 AM

Menendez won his re-election by 18 points shortly after the story first appeared, so he won’t have to face voters for another five-plus years. This could get worse if other sources step forward or the original source starts cooperating. Unless that happens, though, it’s hard to tell if this is on the level or some sort of dirty trick.

Isn’t there at least one other possibility, namely that the source might be credible but has been threatened in some way to back off?

BHO’s Washington seems like enough of a leak factory to me that it might be in the realm of the possible.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 25, 2013 at 8:38 AM

If the prostitute wasn’t unionized, Menendez is done for. That’s pretty much the only sin that a Democrat from New Jersey won’t skate for.

Archivarix on January 25, 2013 at 8:39 AM

Typical reprobate democrat. No integrity. No morals. Liar. Philanderer.

To top it off he was appointed by none other than Jon Corzine, the man who should have been executed for stealing $1 billion. in customer deposits in the mfglobal scandal.

tom daschle concerned on January 25, 2013 at 8:39 AM

“That depends on what the meaning of is a 15 yr old prostitute going down on me, is.”

fogw on January 25, 2013 at 8:40 AM

If this had been a Republican, ABC would have ran with it. they would have figured out some weaselily way to get it on the air, even if they had no cooboration whasoever. Because no one but the right-wing blogs would have called them on it. It’s just a fact. Memnendez must be thanking his lucky stars he was born a Democrat for the simple reason that he can be a United States Senator and still diddle underage prostitutes with impunity.

WarEagle01 on January 25, 2013 at 8:40 AM

The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses.

- Vladimir Lenin

Resist We Much on January 25, 2013 at 8:25 AM

Thanks for unraveling my scrambled writing. I just get so angry at the choke hold the media has on information and “truth.” I first became aware of it when Palin was attacked and then when the tea party was first ignored (millions just ignored) and then vilified. Shaking my head at my own stupidity at not seeing it earlier.

I fear for my country, children and grandchild. The thing that POs me the most is the smile on the talking heads faces when they deliver the “news.” I don’t know how they live with their own smugness and deliberate misdirection. Do they really think they will be untouched when it all starts to burn?

Fallon on January 25, 2013 at 8:52 AM

One of the few good things about Christie right now is that his governorship is blocking the Democrats from forcing Menendez out and replacing him with Booker.

blammm on January 25, 2013 at 8:52 AM

How would ABC news have treated the story if Menendez was a Republican?

That’s right.

portlandon on January 25, 2013 at 8:54 AM

If the prostitute wasn’t unionized, Menendez is done for. That’s pretty much the only sin that a Democrat from New Jersey won’t skate for.

Archivarix on January 25, 2013 at 8:39 AM

If a Democrat hires a prostitue is he more popular or less in New Jersey?

rodguy911 on January 25, 2013 at 8:59 AM

But was that to protect Menendez, or because the source never quite delivered the goods?

That never stopped the msm from reporting any rumor about an R or Tea Party member.

Mimzey on January 25, 2013 at 8:59 AM

If a Democrat hires a prostitue is he more popular or less in New Jersey?

rodguy911 on January 25, 2013 at 8:59 AM

And, how does that hiring affect the unemployment numbers?

Fallon on January 25, 2013 at 9:02 AM

one or more of the prostitutes that Menendez allegedly frequented in the Dominican Republic may have been underage. They also show that Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) provided the information to the FBI and also informed ABC News of the information — and yet neither went public with it prior to the election. But was that to protect Menendez,

…their is no fouth estate anymore…they are in the entertainment business now…so ‘credible’ sources are ‘hard to find’…and yes!…it is to protect Menendez…do not forget that it would not have helped to promote “the Republican war on women”. POS!

KOOLAID2 on January 25, 2013 at 9:05 AM

If a Democrat hires a prostitute is he more popular or less in New Jersey?

rodguy911 on January 25, 2013 at 8:59 AM

And, how does that hiring affect the unemployment numbers?

Fallon on January 25, 2013 at 9:02 AM

The only thing Democrats in NJ really care about is the employment of unionized Democrats.

Archivarix on January 25, 2013 at 9:05 AM

If a Democrat hires a prostitue is he more popular or less in New Jersey?

rodguy911 on January 25, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Christie played kissy face Obama on the beach and it seemed to pay off for him.

blammm on January 25, 2013 at 9:06 AM

“What difference does it make”..?

d1carter on January 25, 2013 at 9:06 AM

With dems if it were true he would have won by 30

tomas on January 25, 2013 at 9:24 AM

It’s a shame the GOP didn’t demand Vitter step aside after his dealings with the DC Madam were exposed. You know the GOP has fallen far when we don’t have the high ground to criticize a Senator for soliciting prostitutes.

We have to raise our standards and be willing to throw our bums out.

Ala Pundit on January 25, 2013 at 9:25 AM

I put this in the wrong thread:

You’re too nice, too enamored of history and tradition to realize that the rules have changed. Remember, I live and work in a town where, “Hello, he lied,” isn’t a joke; we men of the Left are perfectly comfortable lying, cheating, and stealing — hello, Senator Franken! — in order to attain and keep political power. Not for nothing is one of our mottos, “By Any Means Necessary.” You see, we’re the good guys, and for us the ends always justify the means. We are, literally, shameless, which is why Bill Clinton is now a multi-millionaire and Eliot Spitzer is already on the comeback trail.

This is a good peek behind the curtain. We are playing tennis and they are playing “knock out.”

Fallon on January 25, 2013 at 9:27 AM

This is a good peek behind the curtain. We are playing tennis and they are playing “knock out.”

Fallon on January 25, 2013 at 9:27 AM

It’s about time to play against the wall.

tom daschle concerned on January 25, 2013 at 9:31 AM

he’s a NJ democRAT, this would have zero effect on his re-election, but it would be fun to poke the left in the eye about the ‘childrenz’

burserker on January 25, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Chris Matthews, Rachael Maddow, and David Gregory would all be standing shirtless on the beach

Happy Nomad on January 25, 2013 at 8:26 AM

There goes breakfast, and now I won’t be able to eat for the rest of the day.

F+

Del Dolemonte on January 25, 2013 at 9:39 AM

New Jersey voters would have easily believed these allegations, since Menendez has been rumored to be close to indictment for years. Most people seem to believe he’s financially corrupt, because it’s New Jersey and that’s what politicians do here, but personal issues like these as described wouldn’t shock anyone either. After all, this is the state where we had a governor (the infamously foul Jim McGreevey) running orgies in the mansion, consorting with a male lover who (it turned out) was a foreign spy and, like many governors, lining up multiple state pensions while in office. Nothing surprises New Jersey voters.

MTF on January 25, 2013 at 9:41 AM

He’s a democrat. This will be a resume enhancement.

CurtZHP on January 25, 2013 at 10:06 AM

And all these e-mails show is that the FBI agent checked out some of the checkable data, asked for more in order to pursue the accusation, and the source stopped cooperating for some reason.

That “reason for stopping cooperation” is usually called $$…….actually, it was probably $$$$…

Cavalry on January 25, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Well if someone was trying to set up the Senator for a fall, maybe they should have just started by implying that he hadn’t paid any taxes in the last 10 years.

Newspapers have no problem printing that as FACT without further corroboration.

GarandFan on January 25, 2013 at 10:57 AM

What does it really matter?

Democrat Party voters are already on board with fluking children, else they wouldn’t have re-elected Gerry Studds, over and over and over…

Now admittedly, it doesn’t evoke the image of a real he-man Bill Clinton standing over a bloodied Juanita Broaddrick that turns Democrat women on, but really, should we hold it against the esteemed Senator Menendez if he had to pay for a little?

MNHawk on January 25, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Menendez won his re-election by 18 points shortly after the story first appeared

Barack Hussein Obama’s Blue America. What a wonderful third world nation to behold.

MNHawk on January 25, 2013 at 11:06 AM

Ed,

I find it rather easy to understand. Once upon a time I was at a position in life when the law didn’t protect me at all, and rather existed only to favor the establishment that was in power above me. No, I wasn’t in prison… but the poor are always vulnerable, and in places like Guatemala the “police” or even the “FBI” are not known for being instruments of justice. Rather they are vehicles of power which find out information about you, which the powerful may use to hurt you.

Now if the source fears that meeting the FBI will merely give Menendez the power to hurt him, I can easily see why he would be reluctant to meet with them. Or with the media. Sometimes, you really don’t know whom you can trust, and try to keep your identity and face secret as your last bastion of safety.

Warmest regards,
Dr. Urchin

DrUrchin on January 25, 2013 at 11:53 AM

What difference does it make? He’s a Democrat.

Christien on January 25, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Chairman!!!!! Of the Senate Foreign Relations comm?

PappyD61 on January 25, 2013 at 8:12 AM

More like Chairman of the Senate Foreign under-age Relations Committee.

29Victor on January 25, 2013 at 12:19 PM

So we continue to play by the rules while the Democrats and Left sit around the campfire joyfully burning the rule book…fine I am getting used to losing.

If this were a Republican senator the left would be crowing from the rooftops…and would proceed to destroy him. We play by the rules…that has been working out so well for us.

PierreLegrand on January 25, 2013 at 8:09 AM

Yep. The a-hole Jay Lenno still makes jokes about David Vitter’s name appearing in a madam’s LBB.

slickwillie2001 on January 25, 2013 at 12:20 PM

PappyD61 on January 25, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Barack Hussein Obama’s Blue America. What a wonderful third world nation to behold.

MNHawk on January 25, 2013 at 11:06 AM

What difference does it make? He’s a Democrat.

Christien on January 25, 2013 at 12:08 PM

+1
+1
+1

This whole thread needed only those three. But I would add the comment from a black friend of mine that Eliot Spitzer was “framed” by Wall Street for his prosecutions of them. I wonder if Spitzer tried that one on his spouse…

IlikedAUH2O on January 25, 2013 at 1:22 PM

It’s a shame the GOP didn’t demand Vitter step aside after his dealings with the DC Madam were exposed. You know the GOP has fallen far when we don’t have the high ground to criticize a Senator for soliciting prostitutes.

We have to raise our standards and be willing to throw our bums out.

Ala Pundit on January 25, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Senator Vitter won by 20 points or so after the allegation saw the light of day.

Look at D. Vitter’s work, for goodness sakes! He doesn’t ask women to carry a rapist’s child or claim to be a witch. Nobody died in a sinking car!

Voters don’t care and neither do I, really.

IlikedAUH2O on January 25, 2013 at 1:31 PM

I’m going to say this as carefully as I possibly can…I honestly do not want to know who that ambulatory sack of flatulence is boinking and could not possibly care less. And I don’t think I’m alone.

Seriously, it’s like thinking about how Democrat minority voters reproduce. I’m better off not knowing the details.

MelonCollie on January 25, 2013 at 1:50 PM

This is only against Senate Rules (or Federal Law) if done by a Republican.
Getoverit.

Another Drew on January 25, 2013 at 2:00 PM

He’s a Democrat – nothing to see here. To donks, sicko pedophile ho mongers have a disease; they’re not criminals. It was poor judgment, not a crime.

Gee, no wonder news of this investigation was stalled until after the election.

Philly on January 25, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Libfree approves!

CW on January 25, 2013 at 6:49 PM

Given that NAMBLA considers itself part of the Democratic Party’s “big tent,” is anybody surprised that a Democratic Senator is patronizing underage prostitutes?

georgej on January 25, 2013 at 9:10 PM