Another day, another Washington sex scandal. This time, however, the scandal involves our very own senator, Bob Menendez, who has been accused of patronizing two underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic and of taking improper campaign donations from a West Palm Beach doctor.
News of the scandal arose just before the election in November on the conservative website, The Daily Caller, but picked up steam when the FBI raided the office of the doctor, Salomon Melgen, earlier this week. Melgen is a friend of the Senator’s, who has flown Menendez on his private plane to the D.R. and who reportedly organized the drunken orgies with the prostitutes. It’s not clear why his office was raided, but the Miami Herald reported that Melgen may be involved in Medicare fraud and that he has been involved in several lawsuits. He has also had tax troubles.
On Thursday, reporters got wind of some emails that had been posted to an anonymous blog last week purporting to be between a tipster named “Peter Williams” and an FBI agent.
According to the emails, reported nj.com, Williams provided the FBI agent with a copy of what he said was an interview with a now 19-year-old prostitute who she said she had sex with Menendez three times in 2009. She said they met twice again afterward, in 2010 and 2011.
A watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, obtained the emails last April but said it could not verify the information. Peter Williams, an alias, never agreed to meet or talk on the phone, said Executive Director Melanie Sloan.
Sen. Menendez has vigorously denied the charges. “Any allegations of engaging with prostitutes are manufactured by a politically-motivated right-wing blog and are false,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
He added that Melgen was a “friend and political supporter … for many years,” and that he had traveled on the doctor’s plane on three occasions, “all of which have been paid for and reported appropriately.”
So did he or didn’t he engage in illegal activities? According to the Atlantic, there isn’t much evidence to the accusations. What do you think?