While New Jersey Democratic Senator Bob Menendez was directly involved in some of the major legislative news coming out of the Senate over the last few weeks with the Hurricane Sandy relief bill and ‘Gang of Eight’ Immigration reform frame work, but a bigger story has finally become Menendez’s recent activities outside of Washington.
An investigation has been following Menendez since last November when the Daily Caller reported that two women from the Dominican Republic claim the Senator paid them for sex in 2012. Menendez is a frequent visitor of the Dominican Republic, and has stayed at the home of a friend and campaign donor named Salomon Melgen. Melgen had paid for two flights for Menendez to his home, which the Senator has since reimbursed after the FBI raided Melgen’s office. The Miami Herald reports that the FBI raided the West Palm Beach office of the eye doctor “suspected of providing free trips and even underage Dominican Republic prostitutes” to the Senator.
A spokesman for Menendez’s office has called the reports connecting the Senator to prostitutes as “unsubstantiated garbage.”
An Associated Press report this week ran through Menendez’s career and run-ins with scandal, making it surprising that the prostitution allegations are only now starting to get major media play. His mentor, Union City Mayor William Musto, was charged for 36 counts of racketeering, extortion and fraud.
He was selected to the Senate by Governor Jon Corzine who went from the Senate to governor’s mansion in 2006. When running for a full term he was in the midst of a federal investigation for a improper relationship with the North Hundson Community Action Corp., and separate allegations surfaced involving a taped 1999 conversation in which a Menendez adviser allegedly used the senator’s name to pressure someone to a hire a doctor for local government work.
The AP also reports that in 2007 investigators looked into if Menendez improperly steered lobbying business to a startup run by his former chief of staff.
Dan Gainor from the Media Research Center joined ‘Wilkow!‘ Tuesday to discuss the Menendez case, and lack of media coverage and enthusiasms towards the scandal.