Menendez rushes to pay private-jet tab after FBI raid

posted at 8:01 am on January 31, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

“Wonderful things, subpoenas,” Wilford Brimley said in Absence of Malice, after the threat of one broke the silence of conspirators in the film’s climax.  We can add FBI raids to that list of wonderful catalysts.  After discovering that the FBI had raided the offices of his frequent travel companion and campaign donor Salomon Melgen, Senator Bob Menendez suddenly remembered that he owed nearly $60,000 to Melgen for private-jet flights to the Dominican Republic:

Embattled Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez said through a spokesman Wednesday that trips he took on the private jet of a major political donor “have been paid for and reported appropriately.” But that may not have been accurate until shortly before the statement went out to media: WNBC-TV4 in New York City reported Wednesday that Menendez recently wrote a $58,500 check to the jet’s owner, Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen.

“Senator Menendez has traveled on Dr. Melgen’s plane on three occasions, all of which have been paid for and reported appropriately,” the statement said.

Menendez’s chief of staff, Dan O’Brien, told NBC that it took the senator three years to pay his private airfare because of an office mistake.

“This was sloppy,” O’Brien conceded about two 2010 flights. “I’m chalking it up to an oversight.”

“Sloppy”?  That’s hardly credible.  Senators have staff members that watch for those kinds of expenditures.  Three private jet flights to the Dominican Republic completely escaped their notice until the FBI raided Melgen’s offices?  Riiiiiiiiiight.

NBC’s New York affiliate reports that the Ethics Committee is also looking into Menendez’ travel:

Asked whether the senator has been contacted by the Senate Ethics Committee about the matter, O’Brien said, “We can assume the Senate Ethics Committee is looking at the allegation.”

News of the senator paying for two private plane trips to the Dominican Republic comes after the FBI agents and investigators from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General searched the doctor’s Florida offices. Officials would not comment on the investigation, although several sources pointed out that HHS-OIG agents often investigate allegations of Medicare fraud.

View more videos at: http://nbcnewyork.com.

Wonderful things, FBI raids.  This comes at a particularly sensitive time, as Menendez is slated to take over for John Kerry as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  Until last night, Menendez had insisted he did nothing wrong, but the sudden payment of $58,500 for private jet flights that took place almost three years ago makes it look as if there is more to the investigation than Menendez has admitted.  If the Ethics Committee has begun to probe Menendez’ travel, perhaps Harry Reid should start considering a Plan B.


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Liberal politicians are the true examples of “The Culture of Corruption.”

hawkdriver on January 31, 2013 at 8:03 AM

What’s the word they use to describe teenage girl predator in the Dominican Republic?

Oh yeah…..Senator, that’s it.

PappyD61 on January 31, 2013 at 8:04 AM

What’s surprising is seeing a (D) after his name in print.

TimBuk3 on January 31, 2013 at 8:05 AM

So I’m off the DAs radar if after stealing something I drop a check in the mail? Wow it is going to be a fun Thursday.

Limerick on January 31, 2013 at 8:07 AM

I wonder why he would forget to record those flights? Odd.

Oh well, have you seen Michelle’s new dress?!

forest on January 31, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Not getting caught: “I did nothing wrong.”
Getting caught: “It was an oversight but I still did nothing wrong!”

If only that would work with the IRS for us regular folk.

Liam on January 31, 2013 at 8:09 AM

Good thing our ever-watchful fourth estate was on this scumbag the whole time. If he were a Republican, he totally would have gotten away with it.

/

Good Lt on January 31, 2013 at 8:09 AM

We gotta stop going after Menendez we are making him too much of a hero.
First its 16 year old prostitutes(evidently if you are a dem 18 year olds and above are just fine) that alone gives him another 10% of the NJ voting population and now more corruption! He’s going to be a runaway candidate in New Jersey. He might even be backed by be backed by the mob if he gets any more PR.

rodguy911 on January 31, 2013 at 8:11 AM

Tip for gubmint employees- pay your hooker tab in full. It’s not your money, anyway.

wolly4321 on January 31, 2013 at 8:12 AM

How about we start referring to him as Senator Baby Girl?

As in “Come here little Chiquita my pretty.”

PappyD61 on January 31, 2013 at 8:16 AM

Wonder if he went for one of those “Red Headed Yolandas”that senators are so fond of?

docflash on January 31, 2013 at 8:17 AM

Yeah, my big question is where do these people in power find these handlers who play the three monkeys for them? Where are the resignations? Has character been thrown in the ocean with Jimmy Hoffa?

Limerick on January 31, 2013 at 8:20 AM

“I’m chalking it up to an oversight.”

Just like all those under age girls I boinked.

Gatsu on January 31, 2013 at 8:21 AM

And a drunk driver can just says “Gimme a Big Mac and a few hours”

Jabberwock on January 31, 2013 at 8:31 AM

Well, what do you know? The sleazy New Jersey Dem politician is getting some justice.

Must not have paid his protection money to someone.

Cleombrotus on January 31, 2013 at 8:32 AM

First its 16 year old prostitutes(evidently if you are a dem 18 year olds and above are just fine)…
 
rodguy911 on January 31, 2013 at 8:11 AM

 
You give them too much credit:
 

But I have a hard time getting too upset about a 45 year old guy and a 16 year old guy having sex. Maybe its because when I was under 18 (17 to be exact) I had a bit of an affair with an older man (early 30s)…and it was AWESOME. Its exactly what I wanted, I pursued it, he was smoking hot, I was 17 and (as most of the male posters will attest to) extremely interested in having sex. I wasn’t abused or exploited. And there’s no question that a year earlier I would have been just fine as well. Because by 16 I was, at least in terms of my sexual desires, really, really clear what I wanted. I think most 16 year old boys are. Like…how does a “vulnerable” 16 year old find their way onto a gay sex chat-line anyway?
 
libfreeordie on November 20, 2012 at 6:16 PM
 
http://hotair.com/archives/2012/11/20/elmo-creator-resigns-as-second-sex-allegation-surfaces/comment-page-2/#comment-6523015

rogerb on January 31, 2013 at 8:32 AM

Menendez and sloppy? Yeah, but in another way.

tommy71 on January 31, 2013 at 8:33 AM

BTW. In paying the bill, he admits to taking the flights.
His circle just got a bit smaller.

Jabberwock on January 31, 2013 at 8:33 AM

Pedophilia is becoming so expensive, these days.

OldEnglish on January 31, 2013 at 8:34 AM

Another degenerate from NJ. Surprise.

Mr. Arrogant on January 31, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Another BTW.
$58K check ? That’s got to be over 25% of his annual pay.
I’ve done it, but it takes a few days to move it around. Would NEVER keep that much in a checking account.

Jabberwock on January 31, 2013 at 8:40 AM

From mayor of Union City, NJ to Federal prison in one US Senate term. Lovely.

Cleombrotus on January 31, 2013 at 8:41 AM

rogerb on January 31, 2013 at 8:32 AM

I never saw that comment. He has been one of the most indignant about commenters making any parallel of the gay lifestyle to pedophilia. Move the line slowly. 17 is okay. 16 would have been okay.

But then, he is a noted liar.

hawkdriver on January 31, 2013 at 8:41 AM

Just another sleazy, political crook.

rplat on January 31, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Menendez said all the Secret Service agents caught soliciting of age prostitutes should be fired.

haha, how bout now Bob?

Slade73 on January 31, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Can you think of a better person to fill the vacancy of Kerry leaving? The man has unique personal experience that makes him perfect for the position of committee chair.

I don’t understand the issue. There hasn’t been a Senator since Ted Kennedy as qualified for this post.

Though I was surprised to hear that the Senate had a Foreign Sexual Relations Committee. And more surprised to find out Kerry was on it. Still, someone has to fill the hole.

OBQuiet on January 31, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Menendez is another pervert politician who thinks they are above the law.

Are we to believe that there are Senators and Congressmen that knew nothing about Menendez’s sick fetish?

The truth is that Menendez was caught, sadly, there probably are other politicians that are in this “group”, and the politicians that knew about this looked the other way.

I wonder if this was the outcome of the investigation in New York about a world pedophile ring that was uncovered. This was reported 1, 1-1/2 years ago.

Philo Beddoe on January 31, 2013 at 8:48 AM

Wonder if he went for one of those “Red Headed Yolandas” that senators are so fond of?

docflash on January 31, 2013 at 8:17 AM

For a moment, I thought you’re referring to Christine “YoSaffBridge” Hendricks in “Firefly”. Then I recalled…

Archivarix on January 31, 2013 at 8:52 AM

I think most 16 year old boys are. Like…how does a “vulnerable” 16 year old find their way onto a gay sex chat-line anyway?

libfreeordie on November 20, 2012 at 6:16 PM

Were the loads shot with or without the AIDs package, chicken?

unclesmrgol on January 31, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Someone ask Senator Baby Girl if he’d be in support of giving illegal DOMINICAN tweens citizenship in exchange for…..ahhhem.

Unfortunately for Ms. Coulter her Jersey boy is probably in favor of Rubio and Menendezs’ proposal.

Apart from finding out that Barack Obama did far worse in his re-election than nearly any other incumbent who won re-election, the only thing that perked me up after Nov. 6 was coming across a Time magazine published after the 2004 election, when George W. Bush won a second term.

In the mirror image of all the 2012 post-election analyses, the Democrats were said to be finished, out of ideas, hopelessly unpopular. It’s like watching MSNBC, with the word “Democrats” replaced with “Republicans.”

Democrats had thrown everything they had into beating Bush, crushing the Howard Dean wing of their party and running a moderate — a Vietnam veteran, no less! They had George Soros, Michael Moore and Code Pink working like fiends to topple Bush.

Still, they lost to an incumbent. As Time noted, the Democrats had “lost five of the past seven presidential elections.”

But the pendulum swings. The Democrats came roaring back in 2006 and again in 2008. There’s no reason Republicans can’t do the same, unburdened by having to run against an incumbent in 2016.

Unless Marco Rubio has his way.

The Democrats never change their ideas; they change the voters. For decades, Democrats have been working feverishly to create more Democrats by encouraging divorce (another Democratic voter!), illegitimacy (another Democratic voter!) and Third World immigration (another Democratic voter!).

Strangely, some Republicans seem determined to create more Democratic voters, too. That will be the primary result of Sen. Marco Rubio’s amnesty plan.

IT’S NOT AMNESTY! Rubio’s proponents cry. They seem to think they can bully Republicans the way the Democrats do, by controlling the language.

Rubio’s bill is nothing but amnesty. It isn’t even “amnesty thinly disguised as border enforcement.” This is a wolf in wolf’s clothing.

Despite all the blather about how Rubio demands “Enforcement First!” the very first thing his proposal does is make illegal aliens legal. (Don’t call them “illegal aliens”!)

The ability to live and work legally in America is the most valuable commodity in the world; it’s the Hope Diamond of the universe. I know young, well-educated Canadians who waited a decade for that privilege.

Step One of Marco Rubio’s plan is: Grant illegal aliens the right to live and work in America legally. (Rubio’s first move in poker: Fold.)

People who have broken our laws will thus leap ahead of millions of foreigners dying to immigrate here, but — unwilling to enter illegally — waiting patiently in their own countries.

The only thing the newly legalized illegal immigrants won’t get immediately is citizenship. Rubio claims that under his plan, they won’t be able to vote or go on welfare. But in practice, they’ll have to wait only until the ACLU finds a judge to say otherwise.

Even under Rubio’s scheme, all the children born to the 11 million newly legalized illegals will be instant citizens, able to collect welfare for their whole families and vote as soon as they are old enough.

Which won’t be long: The vast majority of illegal aliens are Hispanic, and Hispanics have a higher teen birthrate than any other ethnic group. In California, a majority of all Hispanic births are illegitimate. That’s a lot of Democratic voters coming.

And look how great that’s turned out! With Hispanics on track to become the largest ethnic group in California this year, the state that gave us Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan is incapable of electing any Republican statewide anymore. Taxes keep going up, and there’s no one left to pay the bill.

That will be our entire country if Republicans fall for Rubio’s phony “Enforcement First!” plan. Perplexingly, some Republicans seem determined to turn the whole nation into California, in the foolish hope of winning one last election.

No border can be secure when the pot of gold on the other side is an American green card. (Again playing games with language, Rubio doesn’t call the right to legally live and work here a “green card,” but in practical effect, that’s what it is.)

So when exactly does the enforcement part of Rubio’s “Enforcement First!” plan kick in? Answer: Never.

Or rather, enforcement becomes both impossible — because nothing will stop them if legalization is the lure — and irrelevant — because there’s no penalty for leaving the border wide open.

Even if enforcement “fails,” are the 11 million illegals already legalized by Rubio going to be asked to leave? Of course not.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is a Republican who — as a Princeton and Harvard Law graduate — does not yearn for “strange new respect” from the elites. This week, he said of Rubio’s amnesty plan: “To allow those who came here illegally to be placed on such a path is both inconsistent with rule of law and profoundly unfair to the millions of legal immigrants who waited years, if not decades, to come to America legally.”

If only other Republicans didn’t ride the tea party to victory before realizing they really just want to be John McCain.

These are some of the reasons why Menendez and Rubio are WRONG WRONG WRONG.

PappyD61 on January 31, 2013 at 8:57 AM

I remember The Daily Caller and Drudge reporting on this right before the election. I also remember the rest of the media saying, “Move along. Nothing to see here.”

hatecraft on January 31, 2013 at 9:08 AM

It just got worse.

Barney Frank worse.

Feds raid office of doc who allegedly provided male escorts to Sen. Menendez

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/feds_raid_office_menendez_doc_who_wHFplA41veY8yqQENPPqTN

sentinelrules on January 31, 2013 at 9:09 AM

“Senator Menendez has traveled on Dr. Melgen’s plane on three occasions

I’m having problems with the math, here. Three flights, $60K. That works out to $20K a flight?

BubbaCluck on January 31, 2013 at 9:09 AM

Doesn’t Senator Pedophile realize the first check written for any post-raid damage control needs to be to sleazy Eric Holder?

Just be sure to write “campaign contribution” on the generous “donation” so as to be sure Eric the Red considers it fully above board and legit…

viking01 on January 31, 2013 at 9:14 AM

Harry Reid’s Old & Busted:

“I always consider the source. All anyone here has to look at is the source where this comes from (the Daily Caller). It’s a source that has brought up a lot of non-issues (about Bob Menendez).”

Harry Reid’s New Hotness:

“No comment.”

Resist We Much on January 31, 2013 at 9:15 AM

In Congress, Menendez made impassioned plea to end sex trafficking

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/#ixzz2JYwpeGu4

Resist We Much on January 31, 2013 at 9:16 AM

I’m sure Christie “doesn’t give a damn” and thinks he’s doing a great job.

Marcus on January 31, 2013 at 9:20 AM

In Congress, Menendez made impassioned plea to end sex trafficking

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/#ixzz2JYwpeGu4

Resist We Much on January 31, 2013 at 9:16 AM

The guy was just crying out for help. In his own way.

Jabberwock on January 31, 2013 at 9:21 AM

Jabberwock on January 31, 2013 at 9:21 AM

Yeppers. Kind of like Anthony Weiner when he was pushing his online safety legislation that would protect kids from seeing his weiner pornography online. His silent scream…

Resist We Much on January 31, 2013 at 9:24 AM

…has he paid the hookers yet?

KOOLAID2 on January 31, 2013 at 9:38 AM

“Senator Menendez has traveled on Dr. Melgen’s plane on three occasions

I’m having problems with the math, here. Three flights, $60K. That works out to $20K a flight?

BubbaCluck on January 31, 2013 at 9:09 AM

…was $30K of it expensed for child hookers…but just not itemized?

KOOLAID2 on January 31, 2013 at 9:41 AM

…was $30K of it expensed for child hookers…but just not itemized?

KOOLAID2 on January 31, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Possibly. Between bribe and maybe hired local guides and – ahem – other expenses, you could probably rack up that much per trip. And he won’t be flying coach class either, so there’s that.

MelonCollie on January 31, 2013 at 9:51 AM

NY Times headline: Menendez pays debts, personally provides jobs for young immigrants.

The Rogue Tomato on January 31, 2013 at 9:58 AM

Like…how does a “vulnerable” 16 year old find their way onto a gay sex chat-line anyway?

libfreeordie on November 20, 2012 at 6:16 PM

It is like looking into a mind and finding maggots.

Bulletchaser on January 31, 2013 at 10:19 AM

This comes at a particularly sensitive time, as Menendez is slated to take over for John Kerry as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Yes, well, he does know quite a bit about foreign relations, doesn’t he?

Isn’t this the scandal the Obama Justice Department kept under wraps until after the President’s re-election?

Socratease on January 31, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Interesting….he suddenly has perfect recall of every dollar he owed in private transportation costs, after 3 years of perfect forgetfullness.

BobMbx on January 31, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Speaking as someone who has officially turned his back on the GOP in the last 30 days over immigration and the coming gun ban, I am still amazed at how dense you remain. Menendez’ action in paying the bill will be portrayed as a gesture of good faith, not as incriminating. Wake up and smell the coffee.

Hucklebuck on January 31, 2013 at 10:28 AM

This comes at a particularly sensitive time, as Menendez is slated to take over for John Kerry as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Considered an enhancement in some corners of government.

BobMbx on January 31, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Hucklebuck on January 31, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Yep. And logically, this is no different than not paying for healthcare until you need it.

Maybe we need a mandate to require all government employees (elected officials too) to pay a Private Travel Tax. It goes without saying that at some time in their government service they are going to utilize private transportation to the Bahamas or similar destination.

BobMbx on January 31, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Embattled Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez said through a spokesman Wednesday that trips he took on the private jet of a major political donor “have been paid for and reported appropriately.”

This has the same marks as Senator Torricelli, also from New Jersey, whom the dems threw under the bus. The seat that Lautenberg now holds. It’s not like a republican would stand a chance of getting that seat anyway.

AZfederalist on January 31, 2013 at 10:43 AM

The alligation, in the words of the teen, ring true. Every word out of the Menendez “organizsation” is 100% political double speak. Take a look at Menendez and that gob of pus doctor who set this stuff up. If they don’t personify bizar, pedofile preditors, I don’t know what does. Look up dick in wikopedia, it has memendez’s pix. Senator Bob ought take a lesson from Tony Weiner, it just gets worse. Once you start telling lies, soon you don’t know who you are. Senator Bob screams what is wrong with the “leadership” in our country, total corruption by power. He needs some convenient health problem. Is thi sdope married? Ms. M, get a shot, soon.

StevC on January 31, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Senator Bob Menendez suddenly remembered that he owed nearly $60,000 to Melgen for private-jet flights to the Dominican Republic:

Hmmm…just like Timmy Geithner ‘suddenly remembered’ he owed back taxes.

GarandFan on January 31, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Menendez also sits (or sat?)on the Human Rights Caucus. And there has been whispering about corruption in the past.

sentinelrules on January 31, 2013 at 9:09 AM

The headline to that story talks about male prostitutes, but I don’t see anything more about it in the story itself.

Buy Danish on January 31, 2013 at 11:12 AM

Like…how does a “vulnerable” 16 year old find their way onto a gay sex chat-line anyway?

libfreeordie on November 20, 2012 at 6:16 PM

You emailed him an invitation?

Resist We Much on January 31, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Yeah, gotta luv the media. Didn’t they just have this guy
on this past weekend??

Another effing parasite, that NO REPUBLICAN will call out.

I don’t know what is worse for our Nation, the absolute
fecal matter that makes up the Democrat party, OR the
So called Republican Party, and it’s band of Gutless Appeasers.

One last thing:

Memo to Governor Christie. Get off your donut eating azz you
fat Phuck and call this POS out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ToddPA on January 31, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Where are Demi Moore and Chris Hansen? This bust should be filmed and broadcast. Call it To Catch a Senator.

Oh, wait…he threw a measly 60k at the problem? Nevermind. Nothing to see. Move along.

Christien on January 31, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Wow, I didn’t know there were that many blind prostitutes in the Dominican Republic.

Ward Cleaver on January 31, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Was that check from his personal, or campaign,
checking account?

Another Drew on January 31, 2013 at 12:25 PM

My guess is the only puishment will be that people will say he might have been naughty.

burt on January 31, 2013 at 12:45 PM

My guess is Menendez thinks this is about sloppy bookkeeping and not paying to rape children. It will be interesting to see if any dems rally around him like they always do when one of their own gets busted.

Ellis on January 31, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Nah…when the Progs got rid of religion, they got rid of ethics and morals. No need for that thing called a conscience either.
III/0317

dirtengineer on January 31, 2013 at 2:58 PM

What a joke !!

Bobbie’s “Women’s Issues” platform includes line about “right to be free from abuse, safe from trafficking and exploitation” in the last paragraph.

While he parties on in the DM
.

fred5678 on January 31, 2013 at 7:23 PM

If Senor Menendez finally makes a 60K payment to “come out of the shadows”, who are we to criticize? He’s going clean, obviously.

He should be allowed to find a path to decency, especially since he is no longer “sleeping” with under-age girls, so let us not judge.

After all, he is a hard-working senator who, in spite of harassment by the oppressive FBI authorities investigating his generous friends, still finds time to work with his bi-partisan colleagues on the noble work of welcoming more voters onto the welfare rolls of our big-hearted nation.

Criticism of Senor Menendez is likely rooted in racist attitudes towards immigrants. American gringos just don’t want to see him succeed, tying him in technical legal red-tape, even as he tries so hard to reform.
/sarc

virgo on February 1, 2013 at 2:55 AM