Report: Menendez intern was illegal immigrant and sex offender -- and DHS held off on arresting him until after the election

I’m as surprised as you are to find a New Jersey Democrat wrapped up in something so shady. Why, this might well ruin the good name of Bob Menendez.

Imagine if it had come out before the election. He might have won by only 15 points.

The prosecutor’s office in Hudson County, N.J., said Sanchez was found to have violated the law in 2010 and subsequently required to register as a sex offender. The exact charge was unclear because Sanchez was prosecuted as a juvenile and those court records are not publicly accessible. The prosecutor’s office confirmed to AP that Sanchez registered as a sex offender, although his name does not appear on the public registry.

Authorities in Hudson County notified ICE agents in early October that they suspected Sanchez was an illegal immigrant who was a registered sex offender and who may be eligible to be deported. ICE agents in New Jersey notified superiors at the Homeland Security Department because they considered it a potentially high profile arrest, and DHS instructed them not to arrest Sanchez until after the November election, one U.S. official told the AP. ICE officials complained that the delay was inappropriate, but DHS directed them several times not to act, the official said

During discussions about when and where to arrest Sanchez, the U.S. reviewed Sanchez’s application for permission to stay in the country as part of President Barack Obama’s policy to allow up to 1.7 million young illegal immigrants avoid deportation and get permission to work for up to two years. As a sex offender, he would not have been eligible.

Note well: “Several times.”

Clearly someone at ICE thinks this stinks of politics or else the story wouldn’t be leaking. The question now is who’s empowered to investigate it. Something for the Senate Ethics Committee maybe, to probe whether Menendez influenced DHS into backing off? I’m sure Barbara Boxer, as chairman, will be diligent into getting to the bottom of a fellow Democrat’s possible malfeasance. The DHS inspector general is another option; so is Issa’s House Oversight Committee maybe. I confess that I don’t know the rules offhand about one chamber of Congress investigating possible misdeeds committed by a member of the other chamber. Even if there’s no rule against it, there may be a gentlemen’s agreement in effect that each house polices itself. Technically, Issa wouldn’t be investigating Menendez, he’d be investigating DHS. But the obvious potential in embarrassing a Democrat might launch a tit-for-tat between the Republican House and Democratic Senate. Maybe the local U.S. Attorney in Jersey is the best/only option.

This makes two prominent examples this afternoon alone of a prominent Dem receiving some sort of suspicious break from law enforcement. Like Ace, I’d sure like to know how Jim Moran’s son was able to plead down from felony domestic violence assault after smashing his girlfriend’s head into a garbage can in full view of two cops. Exit question: What happens if Menendez is implicated in DHS’s hands-off approach to Sanchez here? Hmmmmm.