FBI Finds No Evidence To Support Menendez Allegations

promoted by Rosi

Seems like we’ve been through this before.  There’s a big splash in the papers accusing Bob Menendez of being a bad guy, everyone on the right goes ballistic and quite a few on the left (including some of our commenters) pile on, then the allegations are slowly either proved incorrect or even made up.

It happened with Chris Christie’s election year subpoena. Menendez had helped donors keep a non-profit medical center open in a building he owned, and since they paid him rent it was turned into Menendez stealing taxpayers’ dollars instead of helping provided needed health care in an underserved area.  Turned out that not only couldn’t Christie or another US Attorney find anything, but the next USA actually wrote a letter clearing Menendez of doing anything wrong.  That doesn’t happen often.

Now we have an anonymous allegation from a fake e-mail address that Menendez traveled to the Dominican to have sex with teenage girls.  Then a conservative hit-website published it. For some reason, and think of how much this is costing us, the FBI has to investigate including flying agents to the Dominican Republic.  So what have they found?

A team of FBI agents has been conducting interviews in recent weeks in the Dominican Republic and the United States, looking into allegations that Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) patronized prostitutes in the Caribbean nation, but has found no evidence to support the claim, according to two people familiar with the investigation.

Those are my italics, but that’s pretty important. Univision has one of the women on tape saying she never met Menendez, and the man who allegedly threw the party  says Menendez has always been a gentleman.

Women denies it, party-host denies it, FBI finds no supporting evidence, and the person or people who started this all used a fake name, fake e-mail and won’t talk to anyone.

These two situations — the health care facility and these more salacious allegations — are both a lot of smoke from politically motivated allegations, and point to a pattern with Menendez’s opponents.  Which leads me to wonder if there isn’t an effort to blow smoke at Menendez in an effort to get people to start screaming FIRE!

Comments (23)

  1. Rosi Efthim

    what do you think the logic was for them behind this particular right-wing fabrication and smear?  

  2. Jeff Gardner

    When allegations like these can bubble their way up to the mainstream media, without any actual evidence, it diminishes the seriousness of real issues, and unfairly tarnishes a person’s reputation. Sad.

  3. 12mileseastofTrenton

    The free trips only reimbursed when they came to public light, lobbying for legislative action in favor of a company in which he owned stock, and seeking to change government policy to benefit a big donor.

  4. William Weber (WjcW)

    You just write something about AshBritt donations and Christie? You don’t see the parallel here?

  5. ken bank

    Even Frank Lautenberg, with his advanced years and personal wealth, would not have forgotten or neglected to repay a $58,000 expense for more than two years, and then only after a GOP State Senator filed a complaint about it. It’s rather embarrassing to say the least. And I’m surprised nobody has brought up the potential tax consequences, if the IRS will treat the unreported expense as an interest-free loan that should have been reported on tax returns and disclosure statements.

    As to the prostitutes, if the FBI investigated every time an American citizen patronized prostitutes when they were in a foreign country, you would need half the country to investigate the other half. The only reason it’s even a story is that sex sells newspapers, especially when prominent politicians are involved, just ask Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. The only reason for the FBI to be looking at prostitutes is to build a case around the relationship between Menendez and Melgen. If Melgen hosted parties and paid for escorts to show the Senator a good time, then a question arises as to whether he was providing personal services and favors to the Senator in exchange for political favors, that is to say whether a quid-pro-quo relationship existed between Melgen and Menendez. Advocacy is one thing but, as the case of the Keating 5 illustrates, when there is a quid-pro-quo relationship between advocacy and personal favors, there may be ethical and even legal consequences. John McCain knows about that.

    Finally, I guess it’s just bizarre coincidence that in the last thirty years we’ve already seen two Democratic Senators (Torricelli and Williams) leave in disgrace over their personal relationship with sleazy characters. I sincerely hope Menendez is not the third.  

  6. ken bank
  7. Rosi Efthim

    And a sad day when so many reporters who are covering this fail to point out the The Daily Caller’s founder is Tucker Carlson. It’s not even the first time Carlson or his people have fabricated stuff to stir up trouble.  

  8. vmars (Post author)

    However, that post was about AshBritt’s history of financially supporting organizations that have granted them contracts and did not accuse Christie of anything.  It’s more of a messy situation in politics than an actual quid pro quo.

    The allegations of sexual misconduct by Menendez were clear, and the accusations of influence peddling are less than persuasive at this time.  It could be that, or it could be just making calls for a friend and donor which are, actually, part of a legislator’s job called constituent services.

  9. vmars (Post author)

    If the trips on the plane were simply not reimbursed in error then they would have only been able to be paid for when they came to light. No one knew they were not reimbursed, so until they were told … It is just as logical an explanation as yours, and so I don’t find either persuasive at this time on their own.  

    However, added to the fact that the trips came to light at the same time as the apparently false accusations of sexual misconduct make me less inclined to believe them.  They were part of a smear at the start, so have a higher burden of proof before I start believing them.

    As for seeking to change government policy for a big donor, so what? Menendez also tried to change policy for many people who aren’t donors.  The last time this stuff came up with Christie’s subpoena he was working to expand inexpensive and free health care for people who can’t afford donations.  It’s called constituent services, even for donors.  I have called his office on a number of occasions for a number of reasons and he’s advocated for the topic I called on.  I’ve also donated to him.  Is that sleazy?

    My point is that there is smoke here, but a lot of it came from a smoke machine called the Daily Caller and a fake e-mail account.  That doesn’t indicate there’s a fire, or that if there is one it’s more than a match.  You have to wonder why, if there is a major scandal here, Daily Caller and their fake e-mail friend had to fake so much more smoke to make it look bad.

    I hadn’t seen that Menendez owned stock in a company he advocated for.  Do you have a link?

  10. mmgth

    Actually there were only a couple of Blue Jersey commenters pushing the hyped up Mendendez “scandal”. Just retreat please.  

  11. 12mileseastofTrenton
  12. DSWright

    In which case it worked. Notice the NY Times did not even mention the prostitution allegations when it called on him to step down from chairman of SFRC.

    Bait the hook to catch the fish, Carlson and co know enough about the corporate media to know they can’t resist a sex scandal no matter how irrelevant – just ask Matt Drudge.

  13. mmgth

    commenter’s second paragraph reminds me of the Ted Cruz grilling of Chuck Hagel. ” …IF Melgen… THEN questions arise…”. Followed by an anology to the  Keating 5 scandal of the ’80’s. Then the I hope Menendez …  comparison to past disgraced senators.      

  14. vmars (Post author)


    Also from a small right wing outlet based on an accusation from a small right wing think tank, an accusation that 12 years ago Menendez fought a merger of Univision and the Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation, a merger that he thought would shrink Spanish-language media too far. He was invested in a much smaller outlet, an investment less than 1% of all his holdings, at the time and told people he was worried about SBS but didn’t disclose he owned stock.  

    Remember, this is a right wing newspaper reporting on a right wing think tank, and this is the worst accusation they make: “Mr. Menendez was insensitive to appearances. At the minimum, he should have disclosed his stock holdings.”

    The legislation the article said he supported to help SBC was sponsored by Republican Representative Richard Burr of North Carolina and was about preserving local ownership of media outlets, something Menendez supported before and after the Univision merger.

  15. ken bank

    I don’t know about anybody else but I find it rather scary that the FBI is investigating the private conduct of an American citizen who is vacationing in another country. The headlines are misleading because they imply that Menendez did something wrong or illegal even if the allegations are true. That’s been my point all along. Even if the headlines and allegations are proven, Menendez did nothing wrong, ok? Having sex with prostitutes in a foreign country is not a crime, federal or otherwise. There is absolutely no reason or justification for the FBI to stick its nose into the private conduct of an American citizen in a foreign country UNLESS there is a link between such private conduct and the public conduct of a US Senator. i.e. a quid pro quo link between personal favors provided to a US Senator by a campaign donor and political favors provided by that same Senator on behalf of the donor.

    Yeah, I’m sensitive on the subject because I’m getting old but there were times in my youth when I spent alot of time in other countries doing stuff that likely would have gotten me into trouble in this country, and I certainly wouldn’t want the FBI investigating my personal conduct in those countries. If the FBI is investigating Bob Menendez purely for his personal conduct (as the headlines seem to suggest) and for no other reason then it seems to me Congress should investigate the FBI for abusing its powers as they did when J. Edgar Hoover was its director.  

  16. mmgth

    More “…. if …then…”. Headline and diary are about “no evidence”.

  17. ken bank

    Why should I retreat because you say there is “no evidence”?No evidence of what? Sex? Is that all you’re concerned about, whether Bob Menendez shtupped a prostitute in Santo Domingo? Is that all you care about? Fine, so Bob Menendez did not screw around when he was in Santo Domingo. So what? Does that make him a boy scout? Does that mean he’s exonerated of all influence peddling? Does that mean he didn’t take $58,000 worth of trips, and then conveniently forget to report and reimburse those expenses? Does that mean he didn’t accept tens of thousands in donations from a sleazy donor, and then write letters and meet with federal officials on his behalf? Have you read the NYTimes and WaPo articles about “alleged” influence peddling?

    Obviously, you would like this to be just about sex and nothing else matters. You just want everybody to forget about influence peddling, and only focus on the only issue that matters to you which is whether or not Menendez had sex with a prostitute. I guess you don’t like men (and women too) who engage the services of a prostitute. So that’s why you’re fixated on whether Menendez used a prostitute or not.

    This isn’t about sex, or whether or not Menendez hired a prostitute. This is about influence peddling, and whether you like it or not I am not going to retreat, and neither will the FBI, or the Senate Ethics Committee, or the Justice Department, or The Washington Post, or The New York Times, or anybody else concerned about influence peddling in our government regardless of political orientation.

    Finally, isn’t it ironic that we’re bringing up prostitutes and politicians in the same blog? I mean, this whole Menendez affair is not about whether Menendez hired prostitutes, but whether Menendez himself is a prostitute who sold his office instead of his body in exchange for free trips, free rides, generous campaign donations and, maybe, perhaps, some female companionship.

    No, I will not retreat.

  18. mmgth

    Being that Sen. Menendez’s staffer’s statement is that the senator’s advocating for more port security in the Dominican Republic is appropriate and the prostitute allegations are unfounded as the FBI investigation concludes I just don’t get how these comments address the diarist’s point.

  19. ken bank

    If Menendez’s staffer says it’s OK then what do we need an ethic’s committee for? Is that how we judge congressional ethics and conduct, based on what a staffer says is appropriate? Hello, did the Ethics Committee say it’s appropriate? When the Ethics Committee, which is conducting its own investigation, says everything Bob Menendez did was appropriate then I along with everyone else except maybe a few diehard Teapublicans will be satisfied.

    And where did the FBI announce they have concluded their investigation of influence peddling involving Bob Menendez? The diary only refers to allegations involving sex, which is not what the FBI investigation is about. The investigation is about influence peddling, and I would appreciate it very much if you or the diarist can provide links to news sources that state the FBI has completely exonerated and cleared Bob Menendez of influence peddling.

    Btw, did the same staffer say it was OK for the Senator to exert pressure on Medicare regulators to have them dismiss millions of dollars worth of fraudulent Medicare claims submitted by his good friend and generous campaign donor Solomon Melgen?

  20. mmgth

    Diiarist states down the comments thread “the accustations of influence peddling are less persuasive at this time. This story need to play out.

  21. William Weber (WjcW)

    That if port security is your thing, there is really no reason to argue against the US donating security equipment for said purpose, no matter what the staffer says?

  22. mmgth

    This back and forth is played out. I’d just like to wait to see what the investigation concludes.

  23. vmars (Post author)

    you want that stuff here, and you want consistency for the equipment in the DR.


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