Video: CBS “can confirm” FBI probing Menendez for prostitution claims

posted at 9:31 am on February 18, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

On Saturday, a CBS News website article merely pointed to a Washington Post report on the FBI probe of Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) expanding to include allegations of engaging in prostitution.  Today on CBS This Morning, the story gets the full video treatment, including an independent confirmation of the Post’s reporting. Jan Crawford reports that “pressure is growing” on Menendez:

New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, is currently overseas leading a congressional delegation. Back at home he has been fighting off various allegations of wrongdoing, all related to his ties to a Florida doctor who is a major campaign contributor.

CBS News can confirm that the FBI is looking in to the claims, including one that the Senator solicited prostitutes while on a trip to the Dominican Republic – a country where prostitution is legal. So far the investigations have not been able to prove that Menendez did anything wrong, but with every charge, the pressure is growing on Menendez.

The MIami Herald’s Marc Caputo offers his view on the investigation:

The Miami [H]erald dispatched a team of reporters to the country to investigate. “Trying to find someone this many months after the fact based on all the sketchy allegations and the unclear claims, its really difficult. It’s a cold trail,” said Marc Caputo, a political writer for the paper. “But that’s only part of what’s become a steady drip of allegations against Menendez.”

The FBI and the Senate Ethics Committee also are investigating Menendez’s relationship with Florida doctor Salomon Melgen, a close friend and campaign contributor. Last month, the FBI raided Melgen’s West Palm Beach office after the doctor was accused of improperly billing Medicare nearly $9 million. He is fighting those charges.

The Washington Post, which gave the first mainstream-media reporting on the prostitution allegations, updates readers today with a more in-depth look at the corruption allegations involving interventions on behalf of Melgen:

Menendez pointed to the port security deal at Yzaguirre’s confirmation hearing to become ambassador, an aide to the senator said, asking him to put a priority on security efforts aimed at countering drug trafficking through the Dominican Republic. Melgen, too, sought Yzaguirre’s help in enforcing the contract.

Yzaguirre, for his part, received help from both men in becoming ambassador. They had provided a crucial boost to his nomination when it ran into trouble.

The details of efforts by Yza­guirre and embassy staff on behalf of the port security contract remain sketchy. But the ambassador spoke approvingly of stepping up drug interdiction measures when Dominican reporters specifically asked him about the port deal. And embassy officials told the American Chamber of Commerce that they were seeking a resolution of the contract favorable to an American investor, according to William Malamud, the chamber’s executive vice president.

Though it was unusual for a U.S. Embassy to cross swords with the local American chamber, embassy officials said they were doing what U.S. diplomats around the world do when American investors get ensnared in legal or bureaucratic problems.

But this was no routine case because of the relationship among the three men: the senator, the eye doctor and the envoy.

When Yzaguirre’s nomination in 2009 to become ambassador to the Dominican Republic was held up by Republicans in Congress over other disputes with the State Department, Melgen and Menendez came to his aid. At the time, Menendez chaired the subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that handled Caribbean affairs. With the nomination stalled, Melgen spoke with the senator and registered once again his support for Yzaguirre being confirmed, according to Melgen’s lawyer.

“Given his credentials and commitment to the United States, Dr. Melgen supported and advocated on behalf of Raul Yza­guirre given his belief that Mr. Yza­guirre would be an ideal representative of the United States in the Dominican Republic,” Melgen attorney Kirk Ogrosky said in a statement issued Thursday.

Menendez, who now chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, helped break the logjam over the nomination, his aides said, though they added that Melgen was not a factor. They said Menendez’s efforts on behalf of Yzaguirre, a veteran civil rights advocate in the Latino community, reflected the senator’s admiration for him.

Be sure to read it all.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the FBI doesn’t start developing an interest in Yzaguirre as well.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Rubio slurped water. There is no comparison.

– MSM

fogw on February 18, 2013 at 9:35 AM

This witch hunt by Republicans is beneath the dignity of Congress!

–Nancy Pelosi

Liam on February 18, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Rubio slurped water. There is no comparison.

– MSM

fogw on February 18, 2013 at 9:35 AM

“Water? Like out the toilet?” – L.I.V.

forest on February 18, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Looking at the headline, a ton of snark came to mind. I’ll just keep quiet regarding that. ;-) Self-preservation is important.

tommy71 on February 18, 2013 at 9:39 AM

The LSM will use this to deflect the growing pressure that Benghazi is bringing, look Menendez squirrel.

D-fusit on February 18, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Marco Rubio drank water — on air! That’s much more relevant than sex trips to underaged prostitutes with a friend and campaign contributor eye doctor who lives in another state and happens to get a sweetheart deal to provide port security in another country.

rbj on February 18, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Honestly, Menendez can’t ride this out anymore. He’ll have to go. Like Jackson Jr., the pressure and perceived implications (whether true or false) is too much to handle.

tommy71 on February 18, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Menendez apparently did his own probing.

And they weren’t just hookers, they were underage hookers, let’s not forget that little tidbit you media aszhats.

Bishop on February 18, 2013 at 9:43 AM

I really hope that FBI will throw Menendez into a place where he will be repeatedly “probed” with the same instrument that he committed his crime.

Archivarix on February 18, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Alternative headline; “journolist e-mail poll reveals 4 months is the ‘sweet spot’ to ignore negative stories about liberal incumbents”

drivingtheview on February 18, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Did someone bring CBS out of their coma?

VorDaj on February 18, 2013 at 9:45 AM

And they weren’t just hookers, they were underage hookers, let’s not forget that little tidbit you media aszhats.

Bishop on February 18, 2013 at 9:43 AM

It used to be called Child Slavery.

VorDaj on February 18, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Must be killing them to have to report this news. Everyone knows that the media hates doing stories about powerful people doing sex crimes.

forest on February 18, 2013 at 9:49 AM

And they weren’t just hookers, they were underage hookers, let’s not forget that little tidbit you media aszhats.

We need to wait on all facts from this BREAKING MSM scoop. Here is a follow up piece coming from CBS later today; “CBS is looking into claims that Menendez attempted to funnel reparations to 3rd world hispanic children who are constantly targeted by conservative hate groups”

drivingtheview on February 18, 2013 at 9:56 AM

“Trying to find someone this many months after the fact based on all the sketchy allegations and the unclear claims, its really difficult. It’s a cold trail,” said Marc Caputo, a political writer for the paper. “But that’s only part of what’s become a steady drip of allegations against Menendez.”

It’s curious to see the MSM finally pick something up after sites like Breitbart, The DC and Hot Air have been talking about this for weeks, if not months, prior.

ted c on February 18, 2013 at 10:00 AM

It used to be called Child Slavery.

VorDaj on February 18, 2013 at 9:46 AM

This is the Age of Barky, and the Chinese Year of the Dog Eater, children across the world live in peace and harmony, free of exploitation and fear.

Where have you been, hiding in a bunker wearing your Klan costume and talking to a framed photo of David Duke?

Bishop on February 18, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Someone should consider a post detailing the timeline for the MSM to finally finally pick up on this Democrat-boning-underage-Latin-American-girls scandal.

ted c on February 18, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Menendez was down south probing for prostitution himself, eh?

ted c on February 18, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Has Menendez been awarded the Iron Cross for his fearless service in the War On WomenAdolescent Girls yet?

forest on February 18, 2013 at 10:09 AM

I wouldn’t be surprised if the FBI doesn’t start developing an interest in Yzaguirre as well.

Doubtful, since he is “a veteran civil rights advocate in the Latino community”. Although the likely fate of JJ, Jr. makes me less cynical.

KS Rex on February 18, 2013 at 10:11 AM

It used to be called Child Slavery.

VorDaj on February 18, 2013 at 9:46 AM

You know how it is. You bone ‘em, you own ‘em.

Archivarix on February 18, 2013 at 10:13 AM

I wonder if Menendez also had sex with any girls as young as 12. Not recently, but when he was, say, 28.

VorDaj on February 18, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Think carefully people, this is important. If the Fifth Column Treasonous Media is ready to throw Menendez under the bus by actually reporting on his corrupt actions, What is the reason for this? What is it that they know is coming that they do not want you to notice? When the Fox guards the Henhouse.

SWalker on February 18, 2013 at 10:19 AM

This is literally the only good news the GOP has right now.

libfreeordie on February 18, 2013 at 10:20 AM

This is literally the only good news the GOP has right now.

libfreeordie on February 18, 2013 at 10:20 AM

This is not good news for thew GOP, or anyone, you are a willful partisan fool.

SWalker on February 18, 2013 at 10:22 AM

It must be nice to have a U.S. Senator in your back pocket.

I wonder if they had a Senator Geary scene like in the Godfather.

” This girl has no family — nobody knows that she worked here. It’ll be as if she never existed.All that will be left is our friendship.”

NeoKong on February 18, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Did someone bring CBS out of their coma?

VorDaj on February 18, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Frankly, I was surprised, too, when it was NOT Sharyl Attkisson reporting this, the only one over at SeeBS worth a dime…

hillsoftx on February 18, 2013 at 10:25 AM

This is literally the only Menendez resume enhancer he good news the GOP has right now.

libfreeordie on February 18, 2013 at 10:20 AM

fify

hillsoftx on February 18, 2013 at 10:27 AM

New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, is currently overseas leading a congressional delegation banging some underage prostitutes. Back at home he has been fighting off various allegations of wrongdoing, all related to his ties to a Florida doctor who is a major campaign contributor.

acyl72 on February 18, 2013 at 11:09 AM

This is literally the only good news the GOP has right now.

libfreeordie on February 18, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Like most libs I’m sure you have no problem with 50+ year old senators banging and sodomizing underage whores but a lot of us do. I know it’s not a big deal to you since you look forward to the time when you are 50+ and you also will get to do that but most of us thinks it’s pretty degenerae… even for the ruling elite.

acyl72 on February 18, 2013 at 11:12 AM

Hey, Bob, what’s wrong with the Jersey hookers?
There must be plenty of 13-year-olds in Union City who could learn from little bobbie what you democrats are all about.

Ventura Capitalist on February 18, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Hey, Bob, what’s wrong with the Jersey hookers?-[Ventura Capitalist

1 Most of them look like Rocky Balboa
2 The few who don’t look WORSE than Rocky Balboa
3 The FBI was actually not probing Menendez but only the addresses of Mendendez’ quiff so they can feast on young “chicken” at vacation time.

MaiDee on February 18, 2013 at 11:51 AM

I know it’s not a big deal to you since you look forward to the time when you are 50+ and you also will get to do that but most of us thinks it’s pretty degenerae… even for the ruling elite.

acyl72 on February 18, 2013 at 11:12 AM

I doubt our troll would be interested. IIRC, these were female hookers.

a capella on February 18, 2013 at 12:02 PM

The FBI has a dilemma. What can they arrest New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez for?

1. Soliciting an under-aged prostitute?
2. Lewd and lascivious acts with a minor? Under 16? Under 14?
3. Acts unbecoming a sitting US Senator?
4. Bribing a federal employ?
5. Bribing an ambassador?
6. Taking bribes?
7. Failure to pay taxes?
8. Misappropriation of government funds?
9. Insider trading?
10. Impeding a federal investigation?
11. Lying to congress?
12. Bribing foreign officials?
13. Aiding and abetting a possible felon in the commission of a federal and/or international crime?

I think there will be no charges. Any potential witness has already been compensated for their silence. It comes down to he said she said. Anyway it’s not like anyone died or that he recklessly drove a car into a canal after a night of drinking and partying. He’ll pay a small “Timothy F. Geithner” fine for not reporting income and get a Charlie Rangel slap on the hand. Then it’s back to the Dominican Republic and business as usual. Come on, remember who he is, New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez (phonetic pronunciation: meh-NEN-dehz) with a big “D” on the end.

HHW on February 18, 2013 at 3:13 PM