Yesterday Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) again denied allegations that he employed the services of underage prostitutes while on numerous vaycay’s in the Dominican Republic with his largest campaign donor, Dr. Salomon Melgen – who’s office got raided overnight in South Florida by the FBI. The raid lasted for several hours as agents could be seen sifting through belongings prior to removing boxes from the building.
Menendez’ office issued a statement denying the prostitution claims, while acknowledging that on 3 occasions the Senator flew aboard Melgen’s private plane but that the trips were “paid for and reported appropriately.”
The statement refuted claims which have been circulating online for months that Menendez had sexual relations with several prostitutes at Melgen’s mansion in the Dominican Republic by alleging the story is the handy work of a politically motivated right wing blog:
“Any allegations of engaging with prostitutes are manufactured by a politically-motivated right-wing blog and are false,” the statement alleged.
The Daily Caller first reported on the scandal back in November and it’s assumed that the ‘right-wing-blog‘ jab most likely references that quality news outlet.
According to the Miami Herald the investigation is believed to be focused on Melgen’s 11 million dollar IRS lien and not on Senator Menendez. But emails posted online surfaced last week which showed the FBI communicating with an individual by the name of Peter Williams who later confirmed to Fox News that the email exchange was authentic. Williams then provided another email exchange in which a Miami based FBI agent asked to meet with Williams “away from the Dominican Republic” to discuss the situation.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington also publicly released those emails yesterday as well as its July 2012 letter to the FBI and Justice Department, in which the Washington watchdog group urged a probe into whether Menendez “engaged in sex tourism by engaging in illicit sexual acts with underage prostitutes.”
But CREW director Melanie Sloan told Fox News last week that she had concerns about the credibility of the source, saying she is “increasingly suspicious” about the alleged facts in the case:
“He refused to ever be contacted by us by phone,” she said. “It’s really easy to make a lot of allegations. … Who knows … if that’s even a real person.”
Menendez, who is poised to take over the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as outgoing chairman John Kerry takes the Secretary of State job from the departing Hillary Clinton, joined the Senate in 2006 and is becoming increasingly influential on Capitol Hill. He is also part of a group of senators proposing a blueprint for immigration reform this week even though he was cited for hiring an illegal immigrant as an intern in December of 2012.