Menendez: CIA says Cuba set up prostitution allegations

posted at 8:41 am on July 8, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

That would answer quite a few questions about the allegations surrounding Senator Robert Menendez’ trips to the Dominican Republic, courtesy of his good friend Salomon Melgen, but it doesn’t answer all of them. Two years ago, a shadowy figure named “Pete Williams” alleged that Melgen had arranged underaged prostitutes for Menendez on these trips, and the Daily Caller interviewed two women who claimed to have taken part in these sexcapades with the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. That part of the story didn’t add up, and Menendez says the CIA has discovered why:

In a letter sent to Justice Department officials, the senator’s attorney asserts that the plot was timed to derail the ­political rise of Menendez (D-N.J.), one of Washington’s most ardent critics of the Castro regime. At the time, Menendez was running for reelection and was preparing to assume the powerful chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

According to a former U.S. official with firsthand knowledge of government intelligence, the CIA had obtained credible evidence, including Internet protocol addresses, linking Cuban agents to the prostitution claims and to efforts to plant the story in U.S. and Latin American media.

The alleged Cuba connection was laid out in an intelligence report provided last year to U.S. government officials and sent by secure cable to the FBI’s counterintelligence division, according to the former official and a second person with close ties to Menendez who had been briefed on the matter.

The intelligence information indicated that operatives from Cuba’s Directorate of Intelligence helped create a fake tipster using the name “Pete Williams,” according to the former official. The tipster told FBI agents and others he had information about Menendez participating in poolside sex parties with underage prostitutes while vacationing at the Dominican Republic home of Salomon Melgen, a wealthy eye doctor, donor and friend of the senator.

Even at the time, the story seemed fishy, as I pointed out in November 2012. The timing with the election was just too clever by half, and the idea that these women had just discovered who “Bob” was seemed rather difficult to believe. By January, we discovered that “Pete Williams” had been dodging the FBI, and then started dodging Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which had forwarded the allegations to the FBI in the first place. News stories floated to the surface about Menendez and prostitution for another month … and then suddenly ended in February 2013.

If “Pete Williams” turns out to have been a Cuban agent, that answers some of the mysteries involved in the Menendez-Melgen case. However, it doesn’t answer all of them. Nor does it end a larger probe into Menendez for more mundane forms of corruption, as the Post notes:

The FBI’s investigation into the prostitution claims was part of the broader and more substantive Justice Department inquiry into the Menendez-Melgen relationship.

Menendez twice intervened with top federal health-care officials to dispute their agency’s finding that Melgen had overbilled Medicare by $8.9 million for eye treatments at his clinics. The senator also urged top officials at the State and Commerce departments to use their influence over the Dominican Republic to enforce a port security contract for a company in which Melgen was part owner.

The status of the larger probe is uncertain. But according to two people familiar with the investigation, the Justice Department’s public-integrity section and FBI agents are actively pursuing the inquiry and eyeing possible charges against Menendez.

A federal grand jury took up the case more than a year ago, and the media has taken a little more interest in the influence peddling than other kinds of peddling. Melgen made headlines again this spring when he turned out to be the highest-paid Medicare doctor in the country, which might draw scrutiny all over again to the Florida ophthalmologist.

It looks like Menendez may be off the hook on prostitution allegations, but not off the hook for prostituting his office. Does Menendez want to be proclaiming this possible vindication-in-part very loudly and attract attention once again to the rest of the questions about his integrity?


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First the prostitution story was invented by the “vast right wing conspiracy”, and now it’s a conspiracy by the Castros.

What will he try next, “Bitch set me up”?
(h/t to Marion Barry)

ConstantineXI on July 8, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Does Menendez want to be proclaiming this possible vindication-in-part very loudly and attract attention once again to the rest of the questions about his integrity?

Cap’n Ed,

You are assuming that Menendez has integrity. That is a false assumption, not based in facts.

either orr on July 8, 2014 at 8:46 AM

Maybes Secret Service Agents lined up the females
in question, er wait,…..the CIA,…well heck Pelosium
stated that the CIA are liars!!
(snark)

canopfor on July 8, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Well,…there Motto is they get the Mission Done:
(sarc)

CIAVerified account
@CIA

We are the Nation’s first line of defense. We accomplish what others cannot accomplish and go where others cannot go.

https://twitter.com/CIA

canopfor on July 8, 2014 at 8:49 AM

Sure Bob

ToddPA on July 8, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Does Menendez want to be proclaiming this possible vindication-in-part very loudly and attract attention once again to the rest of the questions about his integrity?

That was my first thought when I saw this story. Why the heII does he want this back in the news?

Bmore on July 8, 2014 at 8:52 AM

What will he try next, Marion Barry’s “B!tch set me up” defense?

ConstantineXI on July 8, 2014 at 8:52 AM

It looks like Menendez may be off the hook on prostitution allegations, but not off the hook for prostituting his office.

Hey! He’s a Democrat. From New Jersey. By definition he is expected to prostitute his office. Torricelli, Lautenberg, Corzine……. filthy criminals all.

Happy Nomad on July 8, 2014 at 8:52 AM

If you are a scumbag, you put yourself in the position of being set up or blackmailed. Like Senator Geary from Nevada.

forest on July 8, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Hey! He’s a Democrat. From New Jersey. By definition he is expected to prostitute his office. Torricelli, Lautenberg, Corzine……. filthy criminals all.

Happy Nomad on July 8, 2014 at 8:52 AM

You aren’t considered legit in New Jersey without a corruption scandal.

ConstantineXI on July 8, 2014 at 8:55 AM

That was my first thought when I saw this story. Why the heII does he want this back in the news?

Bmore on July 8, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Sacrificial lamb squirrel for Barky

fogw on July 8, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Playing patsy at poolside with underage girls (womyn to NOW) would get Menendez reelected to Mayor of DC, but selling influence is business as usual and guarantees his move up the food chain in the Senate.

vnvet on July 8, 2014 at 8:59 AM

That was my first thought when I saw this story. Why the heII does he want this back in the news?

Bmore on July 8, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Because it turns him on to know that millions of people have knowledge of his sexual escapades with young girls?

Pork-Chop on July 8, 2014 at 9:11 AM

The CIA says? Lol

coolrepublica on July 8, 2014 at 9:12 AM

…sounds plausible. Ha!!

bill glass on July 8, 2014 at 9:12 AM

Menendez is a child raping lying thief, which makes him a typical democrat.

earlgrey on July 8, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Now, some may understand why New Jersey conservatives tend to see the empty suit with the label “Cory Booker” on it in a relatively benevolent light. Compared to the rest of local Democrats, he is practically a Republican.

Rix on July 8, 2014 at 9:26 AM

Now, some may understand why New Jersey conservatives tend to see the empty suit with the label “Cory Booker” on it in a relatively benevolent light. Compared to the rest of local Democrats, he is practically a Republican.

Rix on July 8, 2014 at 9:26 AM

He’s just following the Obama model, voting Present so that he can’t be pegged as a radical.

ConstantineXI on July 8, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Menendez: CIA says Cuba set up prostitution allegations

…sure!…he’s drooling at all the young girls coming across the southern border…that Castro is sending to get him in trouble!

JugEarsButtHurt on July 8, 2014 at 9:36 AM

Oh sure, Cuba hates left-wing Marxists. That’s why they set up Menendez.

MaiDee on July 8, 2014 at 9:53 AM

Has the CIA cleared pedophile Harry Reid?

HumpBot Salvation on July 8, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Just another LIBERAL Racist conspiracy theory as a distraction from his wetbak friends he invited to America ON OUR DIME!!!!!!!!

Realdemocrat1 on July 8, 2014 at 9:57 AM

Send the wetbax to his and his slutty daughter’s house so they can break bread with them on THEIR DIME!!!!!!

Realdemocrat1 on July 8, 2014 at 9:59 AM

It’s time to start punching these LIBERAL/RINO bullies right on the face……FOUR TIMES!!!!

Realdemocrat1 on July 8, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Wait.

Is this the same CIA that has missed every single major international event in the last 30 – 40 years?

The same CIA that put Valerie Plame in a desk job?

Why yes. It is.

Well, then.

chuckh on July 8, 2014 at 10:12 AM

Obama’s CIA said something that helps a powerful democrat?

Huh. How about that.

Irritable Pundit on July 8, 2014 at 10:31 AM

Hmmm, whom to believe, a sitting US Senator from the Democratic Party or Cuban secret agents looking to frame a sitting US Senator from the Democratic Party. Let me think for a moment ….

Dusty on July 8, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Not really a matter of who to believe as it is a matter who to root for…Cuban Intelligence or another corrupt Dem Senator….decisions decisions….

terlizzi99 on July 8, 2014 at 11:10 AM

OK so he’s only 95% crooked.

rjoco1 on July 8, 2014 at 12:38 PM

I just HATE it when Cuba FORCES you to engage in prostitution in order to discredit your good name…and consequently forces your corruption to be exposed by accident. Darn it all!

easyt65 on July 8, 2014 at 2:39 PM

If he wasn’t a thoroughly sleazy little shit in the first place, nobody would have found the single-source allegation credible.

Just sayin’…

mojo on July 8, 2014 at 4:04 PM

I hate to see anyone falsely accused, but the old saying applies: “If you lie down and sleep with the dogs, you’re going to wake up with fleas.”

And that’s literal dogs, mind you, in a figurative sense. No offense intended to the alleged prostitutes. ;o)

s1im on July 8, 2014 at 5:16 PM