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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Heralding a Bad News Cycle for Senator Menendez



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From the Thursday edition of the Morning Jolt:

The Words ‘Underage Prostitutes’ in a News Bulletin Can Ruin Any Senator’s Day

So, I guess Senator Bob Menendez will be canceling his Miami Herald subscription, huh?

Stringing up crime scene tape and using a locksmith, the FBI on Tuesday and Wednesday raided the West Palm Beach business of an eye doctor suspected of providing free trips and even underage Dominican Republic prostitutes to U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez — who has denied what he calls the “fallacious allegations.”

Agents hauled away boxes and bags of evidence from the medical-office complex of Dr. Salomon Melgen, a contributor to Menendez and other prominent politicians, to start hauling away potential evidence in several vans.

On Wednesday, the FBI agents were joined by an inspector from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, indicating the search-and-seizure raid has ties to a possible Medicare fraud inquiry. Melgen has also been the subject of a parallel federal investigation into his relationship with Menendez, D-N.J., who was first accused of improprieties in the conservative Daily Caller website.

“Dr. Melgen has been a friend and political supporter of Senator Menendez for many years,” Mendendez’s office said. “Senator Menendez has traveled on Dr. Melgen’s plane on three occasions, all of which have been paid for and reported appropriately. Any allegations of engaging with prostitutes are manufactured by a politically-motivated right-wing blog and are false.”

Funny how when “the office” starts talking, “the office” can get things wrong:

Menendez’s office did not say whether the three trips were to the Dominican Republic or elsewhere. The statement also did not say how the trips were reported or how Menendez paid for them — with his own money or through his senatorial or campaign accounts.

The Associated Press reported it found no records reporting payments to Melgen or trips aboard Melgen’s plane in six years worth of office and travel-related expenses for Menendez’s Senate office, or in six years worth of campaign expenses on file with the Federal Election Commission.

Care to revise your statement, Senator?


Tags: Bob Menendez


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