Here is how The Weekly Standard is playing the Menendez story

Bear in mind that The Weekly Standard was founded by conservative commentator William Kristol. And bear in mind, too, that Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), the watchdog group originally contacted by the elusive “tipster” and the group that contacted the FBI as their civic duty given the serious nature of the accusations the “tipster” was making against Sen. Bob Menendez, has serious doubts about the credibility of the “tipster”. That’s due to his avoidance over 8 months to all requests to speak to the FBI – on the phone or in person – about what he was accusing the senator of. And bear in mind that the first source of the accusations was the partisan Daily Caller website, founded by Tucker Carlson.

I don’t know what if anything happened regarding the most serious accusations against Sen. Menendez, the ones that accuse him of soliciting underage prostitutes on foreign soil. I do know that the right wing is very capable of fabrication. I think a headline like this is absurdly premature, given that there’s so much about this investigation that isn’t yet known.

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Comments (6)

  1. ken bank

    I read that prostitution in DR is legal. If its anything like other countries I have been too, the girls are supposed to be licensed (and medically checked every six months) and working in clubs and other places under strict supervision.

    And what do they mean by underage? Are we talking about 16 or 6? Keep in mind the age on consent varies from state to state and country to country. The way these rightwing trash sites act you’d think Menendez was standing on a street corner in Santo Domingo and singing ala Maurice Chevalier “Thank Heaven For Little Girls” while offering candy to 9 year old tweenies. I hardly believe that was the case.

    That article about prosecuting Menendez refers to sex tour operators who promote and sponsor these trips to Asia and Latin America where American men can enjoy limitless sex with young ladies, even “underage”. I be really surprised if anybody has ever been prosecuted for going on a private trip abroad and having sex with a prostitute.

    What’s really sad and frustrating is that all this distracts from the Buono campaign. At a time when Barbara Buono should be front and center in the news, now all the talk is about “Playboy Bob” sharing a good time with Dora The Explorer. It was hard enough for Buono to gain name recognition, now it will be ten times more difficult.

    I hope Menendez does the right thing and comes clean on all this. The more serious allegation involves him waiting more than two years to pay for the trips, and only after Sam Thompson made an issue of it. But that’s a matter for the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate, and my guess is he’ll end up with a severe reprimand ala Charlie Rangel. The real problem, and distraction, is the prostition. I believe he did have sex with prostitutes, perfectly legal in the DR, and needs to come clean about it and “man up”. At worst he’ll be embarrassed and the subject of late night jokes, but it will all go away after a few days. I don’t the age will be an issue. According to the tipsters they were teenagers at the time, and I’m sure they didn’t reveal their age to Menendez, so there probably wouldn’t be any reason for him to suspect they were underage. Anyway, I don’t see this becoming a legal problem for Menendez. But it will be a problem for him and the Democratic Party if he lets this linger on and doesn’t come clean about it.

    Anybody care to bet against this being a lead story on Saturday Night Lives Weekend Update?  

  2. zi985

    If Bob Menendez did indeed have sex with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republican he would be violating the PROTECT Act of 2003 (which he voted for as a member of the House).  One provision of the Act is that it authorizes fines and/or imprisonment for up to 30 years for U.S. citizens or residents who engage in illicit sexual conduct abroad, with or without the intent of engaging in such sexual misconduct (for the purposes of this law, illicit sexual conduct includes commercial sex with anyone under 18, and non-commercial sex with persons under 16 when there is at least a four-year age difference or the person is under 12 years of age).  The fact that prostitution is legal in the Dominican Republic means that Senator Menendez would only be violating the law if those girls were indeed under the age of 18 at the time.  However, that would probably be impossible to prove and plus, this whole story sounds fabricated anyway…

  3. mmgth
  4. 12mileseastofTrenton

    Menendez only reimbursed the money when it was exposed.  Not the first time he’s run into ethical trouble.  He’s another Bob Torricelli, and there’s a decent chance he’ll end up suffering the same fate.

  5. brendanod

    so irresistible that a senator feels the need to live like a rock star?

    I agree he only made the reimbursement to quell the scandal. He may of been better off to continue to ignore the flights and deny the whole thing.  The reimbursement is only acknowledgment that part of the story is true.

    Is the culture for the need of campaign cash so prevalent that no one is above reproach or is this incident more of an issue of petting the ego of a U.S.Senator who wants to live like a rock star?

  6. 12mileseastofTrenton

    to afflict too many New Jersey public officials.


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