WaPo reports FBI probing Menendez for prostitution allegations

posted at 10:01 am on February 16, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

It started off as a sex scandal, and it’s coming back around again.  The Washington Post reported last night that the FBI has expanded its probe of Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) beyond the interventions on behalf of big donor Salomon Melgen and his business interests, and into allegations that Menendez frequented prostitutes while traveling with Melgen to the Dominican Republic.  The scope of the investigation includes whether Menendez had contact with underage prostitutes:

A team of FBI agents has been conducting interviews in recent weeks in the Dominican Republic and the United States, looking into allegations that Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) patronized prostitutes in the Caribbean nation, but has found no evidence to support the claim, according to two people familiar with the investigation.

One person said agents have asked about whether a Florida eye doctor — a close friend and major campaign donor to Menendez — provided the senator with prostitutes on vacations there. Another person said investigators are looking into allegations involving underage prostitutes and sex parties.

The two, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an active investigation, said FBI agents are following leads provided by an unknown tipster. In a series of e-mails with the FBI, the tipster alleged that the doctor, Salomon Melgen, had made prostitutes available to Menendez while he was staying at his friend’s resort home in the Dominican Republic. The tipster, in particular, mentioned young prostitutes and prostitution parties.

This news vindicates the reporting earlier from the Daily Caller, although it doesn’t yet prove that Menendez is guilty of these allegations.  This story broke in the fall when Matthew Boyle (now with Breitbart) first reported on the anonymous tipster and interviewed two of the alleged prostitutes.  Menendez claimed that the story was invented by “right-wing blogs,” and other news outlets didn’t report on it — at least not until Menendez’ interventions on Melgen’s behalf with the Dominican Republic and Medicare got uncovered.

Now that the corruption scandal has finally become a sex scandal in the mainstream media, how long can Menendez hang on?  The Post explains what’s at stake:

Prostitution is not illegal in the Dominican Republic. But soliciting underage prostitutes is illegal. Also, a politician who accepts free gifts and special favors in exchange for official acts can face criminal prosecution for abuse of public office.

Legally, Menendez is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Politically, Menendez is starting to look like a big liability to Democrats, and with a Senate race coming up in New Jersey in 2014 for the state’s other seat, Menendez may start becoming toxic even in New Jersey, which traditionally has a high threshold of corruption.  Democrats may have to fight for two seats next year that they already have if this investigation gets any worse for Menendez, and the longer he sticks around, the worse it will be for Democrats in both races.


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Poor Lautenberg, now he’ll have abandon his retirement and serve six more years because of yet another corrupt lawbreaking Democrat.

fogw on February 16, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Menendez claimed that the story was invented by “right-wing blogs,”

Right wingers..
Youtube movie producers..
Tea Party…
Rush…
We are all inventors.

Electrongod on February 16, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Viva Senator “Baby Bob” Menendez!!!

He like them young.

He like them fresh.

New Jersey voters you are geniuses.

PappyD61 on February 16, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Maybe he’ll just get the double standard of the Mayor from California and get a pass. Democrats don’t appear to have to pay for their mistakes

Cindy Munford on February 16, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Since when has any crime or scandal been a liability to any of this crop of corrupt sleazeballs…?

NeoKong on February 16, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Ok, but, Holder owns the FBI and Obama owns Holder . . . how far do you really think this will go?

rplat on February 16, 2013 at 10:13 AM

What we need is for one of those toddler hookers to come forward with a stained blue onesie.

How old did the reports say he liked them? Wasn’t it 14?

PappyD61 on February 16, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Right wingers..
Youtube movie producers..
Tea Party…
Rush…
We are all inventors.

Electrongod on February 16, 2013 at 10:09 AM

You didn’t invent that. You did not invent that!

Somebody invented that for you…

JohnGalt23 on February 16, 2013 at 10:13 AM

WaPo reports FBI probing Menendez for prostitution allegations

Probing?

Isn’t probing what got Menendez in this fix in the first place?

You do know that if Menedez had a (R) next to his name…he’d have been charged, arrested, convicted and sentenced already.

coldwarrior on February 16, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Really at this point should ANY DEMOCRAT be pursued for ANY crime?

What difference does it make to Democrat voters?

NONE.

PappyD61 on February 16, 2013 at 10:15 AM

The hookers weren’t underage, they were other than adult.

Get your lingo correct, Cons.

Bishop on February 16, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Bishop on February 16, 2013 at 10:16 AM

:-)

You. Are. Good.

coldwarrior on February 16, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Somebody invented that for you…

JohnGalt23 on February 16, 2013 at 10:13 AM

I should have seen that coming :)

Electrongod on February 16, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Really? Obviously NJ voters like them sleazy and Democrat.
There really is going to be no change here until the entire Congress is full of corrupt, pedophile Democrats and even then, I doubt the public or the press would show outrage.
We’d just see news reports about how pedophile is good for children.

ORconservative on February 16, 2013 at 10:21 AM

I seem to remember one of the prostitykes
recanted her story . Probably got the other
$400 he owed her .

Lucano on February 16, 2013 at 10:25 AM

My guess is that nothing will come of this. The only time the aristocracy has to abide by the rules that it makes is when they throws one of their own to wolves to “prove” to the proles that the laws apply to the aristocracy too. But they really don’t.

besser tot als rot on February 16, 2013 at 10:27 AM

The hookers weren’t underage, they were other than adult.
Get your lingo correct, Cons.

Bishop on February 16, 2013 at 10:16 AM

For maximum effect, I just say that he had sex with children.

besser tot als rot on February 16, 2013 at 10:28 AM

WaPo reports FBI probing Menendez (for prostitution)…

.
That’s a target-rich headline. I’m waiting for the “ever-widening circle” followup or the “investigating deeper” language.

ExpressoBold on February 16, 2013 at 10:29 AM

No worries Bobby, we will tell Jesse to keep a light on for you….

hillsoftx on February 16, 2013 at 10:30 AM

I wanna know where is the Latino and Latina outrage?

ExpressoBold on February 16, 2013 at 10:31 AM

For maximum effect, I just say that he had sex with children.

besser tot als rot on February 16, 2013 at 10:28 AM

“They weren’t children, merely age-challenged adults.”

-Pedo Menendez (D-New Jersey)

Bishop on February 16, 2013 at 10:37 AM

That’s a target-rich headline. I’m waiting for the “ever-widening circle” followup or the “investigating deeper” language.

ExpressoBold on February 16, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Still laughing out loud!

TXUS on February 16, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Oh come on. Menendez was just doing research on the effects of CIR on underage girls. Thats ‘fair’, ain’t it? ;-)

tommy71 on February 16, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Menendez may start becoming toxic even in New Jersey, which traditionally has a high threshold of corruption.

I’ve read one survey that New Jersey (my home state) is more corrupt than Louisiana and Illinois.

When looking into port security, I always go to Florida eye doctors. Because Syrian eye doctors are always to busy with other matters.

rbj on February 16, 2013 at 10:47 AM

I wanna know where is the Latino and Latina outrage?

ExpressoBold on February 16, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Hard to be mad about something that happens all the time in your drug-ridden home country, or be truly outraged at one of the Grand High Poohbas that keeps the welfare checks flowing to you and your six bambinos.

MelonCollie on February 16, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Brian Williams et al will investigate if a sip from a water bottle is career suicide. The senate chair of the foreign relations committee making a mockery of campaign finance reform and sleeping with little 3rd world girls is not worthy of a single mention. And a right wing blog gave this story away for free over 100 days ago. But everyone knows the Republicans need to re-brand in order to survive

drivingtheview on February 16, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Seems to me that the FBI was quick enough to uncover an extramarital affair with a consenting ADULT when it came to David Patraeus. But let Bob Menendez engage in sexual activity with under-aged hookers, and they’ll get around to checking it out in their own good time.

Murf76 on February 16, 2013 at 10:54 AM

We are all inventors.

Electrongod on February 16, 2013 at 10:09 AM

…with no residual compensation!

KOOLAID2 on February 16, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Things are not fair.

And a right wing blog gave this story away for free over 100 days ago. But everyone knows the Republicans need to re-brand in order to survive

drivingtheview on February 16, 2013 at 10:52 AM

I spent time with a media watcher. The present story is that this senator is innocent. Coverage ratio is 62+ to 3.

Worse than the last two POTUS elections.

IlikedAUH2O on February 16, 2013 at 11:00 AM

What difference does it make???

Alibali on February 16, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Probing sounds so dirty. lol!

Blake on February 16, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Poor Lautenberg, now he’ll have abandon his retirement and serve six more years because of yet another corrupt lawbreaking Democrat.

fogw on February 16, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Oh surely it;s been long enough they can trot Bob Torecelli or Jim McGreevy out again. After all, Tony Weiner’s already talking comeback, and his scandal’s not even two years old.

jon1979 on February 16, 2013 at 11:11 AM

Getting toxic?

Quite the opposite. I’m thinking “exonerated”.

This is Eric Holder we’re talking about.

BobMbx on February 16, 2013 at 11:13 AM

I find this now all very boring. Decadence, corruption, cupidity and stupidity — we’ve seen it too many times. Politics is becoming the vocation for the least interesting people in society. Whatever else they may be, they’re primarily just boring. I don’t expect an original thought or glimmer of spirit or expression of iconoclam or actual character from any of them anymore, republican or democrat. The only thing to hold my interest are the stakes involved, that is, the incredible perverse disproportion between their power/influence over our lives and their one-dimensional, boring, predictable and tediously corrupt qualities as individuals. The few interesting people in politics soon get out. I understand why.

rrpjr on February 16, 2013 at 11:15 AM

Quite the opposite. I’m thinking “exonerated”.

This is Eric Holder we’re talking about.

BobMbx on February 16, 2013 at 11:13 AM

…the only thing that Menendez may possibly get out of all of this…what with the Ethics Commitee…and the current DOJ…is the clap

KOOLAID2 on February 16, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Like all of his corrupt/criminal buddies in DC (ahemMaxine WatersJessieJacksonJrEricHolderBarneyFrankcough cough cough) NOTHING of any import other than a slap on his pedophillic wrist will befall Mr. “Baby got back” Menendez.

NY Conservative on February 16, 2013 at 11:22 AM

Legally, Menendez is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

if there is a D next to their name…an R, well…..

cmsinaz on February 16, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Illegal prostitution, ilegal immigrants, illegal drugs. What does “illegal” mean anymore?

HiJack on February 16, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Illegal prostitution, ilegal immigrants, illegal drugs. What does “illegal” mean anymore?

HiJack on February 16, 2013 at 11:35 AM

…undocumented

KOOLAID2 on February 16, 2013 at 11:41 AM

That’s a target-rich headline. I’m waiting for the “ever-widening circle” followup or the “investigating deeper” language.

ExpressoBold on February 16, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Still laughing out loud!

TXUS on February 16, 2013 at 10:38 AM

…I started laughing as soon as I saw the headline to the thread…

WaPo reports FBI probing Menendez

……and Ed’s choice of word

KOOLAID2 on February 16, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Consider the source.

Socratease on February 16, 2013 at 12:32 PM

rrpjr on February 16, 2013 at 11:15 AM

THIS

Cleombrotus on February 16, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Once again the media are derelict.

It’s not even solely the focus on the “underaged”.

Menendez, when he was a congressman, voted for a law which, if found guilty of cavorting with hookers as a US senator, would put him in prison for 30 years. Focus stupid media, focus.

Schadenfreude on February 16, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Menendez voted for the law when he was a member of the House of Representatives.

“TRAVEL WITH INTENT TO ENGAGE IN ILLICIT SEXUAL CONDUCT,” the law reads.

“A person who travels in interstate commerce or travels into the United States, or a United States citizen or an alien admitted for permanent residence in the United States who travels in foreign commerce, for the purpose of engaging in any illicit sexual conduct with another person shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.

‘‘(c) ENGAGING IN ILLICIT SEXUAL CONDUCT IN FOREIGN PLACES.—Any United States citizen or alien admitted for permanent residence who travels in foreign commerce, and engages in any illicit sexual conduct with another person shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.”

The law further explains:

‘‘(d) ANCILLARY OFFENSES.—Whoever, for the purpose of commercial advantage or private financial gain, arranges, induces, procures, or facilitates the travel of a person knowing that such a person is traveling in interstate commerce or foreign commerce for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.

Schadenfreude on February 16, 2013 at 12:45 PM

RWM, take it form here. See above.

Schadenfreude on February 16, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Politically, Menendez is starting to look like a big liability to Democrats, and with a Senate race coming up in New Jersey in 2014 for the state’s other seat, Menendez may start becoming toxic even in New Jersey

Obama is pushing Menendez out so that his buddy Christie can appoint Booker now.

Schadenfreude on February 16, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Pimpin.

Bmore on February 16, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Schadenfreude on February 16, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Maybe Menendez was merely doing field investigation, you know, a sort of congressional junket, to see how the law was working out or something? Undercover work, as it were.

coldwarrior on February 16, 2013 at 12:56 PM

coldwarrior on February 16, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Indeed :)

Hope you’re doing/recovering well.

Schadenfreude on February 16, 2013 at 1:24 PM

Schadenfreude on February 16, 2013 at 1:24 PM

Thank you for askign. :-)

Recovering. Slowly. Stuck at home for a while. Sitting at the ‘puter is my current avocation. Can’t do anything actually requiring physical activity.

Can’t wait till Spring.

All that life-threatening stuff seems to have been taken care of.

I rate the U of Michigan Medical Center at the top of my all time favorite list.

Damn. Fine. Hospital.

coldwarrior on February 16, 2013 at 2:34 PM

JJ and Menendez 2016

Redford on February 16, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Since when has any crime or scandal been a liability to any of this crop of corrupt sleazeballs…?

NeoKong on February 16, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Sad. I detect too much negativity in this patriot. If you were closer to the traffic in DC, you would have a different view, I say.

Most recently, we have Cong. Jackson with the $750,000 of funds used for a better Rolex than I ever dreamed about buying. (Who could wear something like that?)

Then we have Congressman Issa, who is actually communicating with the administration!

One could do a blog just on his activities.

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/dec/27/tp-issa-says-hell-persist-in-role-as-watchdog/?page=1#article-copy

The left chases people, too. Don’t forget it. Check the list and “News” heading here:

http://www.crewsmostcorrupt.org/mostcorrupt

I would like to do some reforms. But I am torn between some prison in Poland for interrogations and just giving them money to behave.

IlikedAUH2O on February 16, 2013 at 9:10 PM

I rate the U of Michigan Medical Center at the top of my all time favorite list.

Damn. Fine. Hospital.

coldwarrior on February 16, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Before the Joe Pateron downfall, I was walking two little kids into an Eat N Park restaurant near Jeanette, Pennsylvania. Some rather old skinny man walked right into me. On purpose.

I was wearing a Michigan sweatshirt that I got at Goodwill or Ebay or someplace like that. It took about 2 seconds for me to think Penn State. He was about 40 feet away when he mentioned Penn State instead of excuse me.

I couldn’t hit him in front of the kids. I studied the M place and found it very fine and active in many good things so I was sorry that I lived in a fortress so if I painted my house it wouldn’t be noticed.

So I bought flags for every opponent of Penn State’s and induced another guy to fly them the week before football games. He lives in a nice little town called Greensburg, PA.

Last time I checked he was still alive.

IlikedAUH2O on February 16, 2013 at 9:22 PM

Well, at least he didn’t do something Really Vile, like say, taking a sip of water from a bottle.

jaydee_007 on February 17, 2013 at 3:06 PM