The ethically impotent and morally bankrupt member of the US Senate, Robert Menendez of New Jersey – the New Jerseyite under more FBI investigations than Chris Christie had his lawyer drop a bombshell that turned into a dud this week.
First, a recap of Menendez stellar ethical history. He is deep in bed with a Florida doctor who has allegedly scammed millions from Medicare. He regularly flies to the doctor’s villa in the Dominican Republic with the doctor on his private jet. He was penalized by the Ethics Committee for three trips on that jet. So the senator who earns $172,000 a year whipped out his checkbook and wrote a $58,000 check to cover the expense. Menendez is being investigated by the FBI for his dealings with the doctor.
In addition, Menendez is under FBI investigation for his involvement with two fugitive Ecuadorian banker brothers who were convicted of stealing millions from their bank, They have been hiding out in the US and their family members poured thousands into the campaign coffers of Menendez to try to block the brothers’ extradition back to Ecuador.
Last November a story was published in a Right Wing online tab called the Daily Caller. It supposedly quoted several Dominican prostitutes who claimed they had serviced Menendez when he was in town with the good doctor. The FBI sent a team to investigate and found no credible evidence, though I doubt the prostitution industry is up front keeping meticulous records.
So now we get to this week: Menendez’ lawyer drops the news that a former US Government official (Roger Noriega would be my guess) had learned that the Cuban government had planted the prostitution story last Fall. Menendez’ lawyer requested a third FBI investigation involving the Senator, though in this case he would be the victim. The reasoning behind the Cubans doing that – according to Menendez’ lawyer – is that they hoped to discredit him because he was the incoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Well if that’s all they have for motive they are in trouble because that is a lie! In November, 2012 when Menendez was up for reelection he was destined to return to the number two spot on the Foreign Relations Committee under Senator John Kerry. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced she would step down as soon as her successor was confirmed by the Senate. Susan Rice was the expected replacement though due to GOP sniping she withdrew her nomination on December 13. President Obama nominated John Kerry to be Secretary of State on December 21 and he was confirmed on February 1.
So contrary to the misrepresentations of his attorney, Bob Menendez did not become the putative committee chairman until December 21, almost two months after the prostitution story hit.He has enough potential criminal baggage.- why try to tag the senator with prostitution allegations, something that in other cases in the US Congress (Senator David Vitter) is actually celebrated? The FBI has said there is no credible evidence that the Cuban Government was involved in this frat house prank.