Posted on | February 4, 2013 | 27 Comments
Here’s this morning’s Menendez headline stack at the Drudge Report:
- REID BACKS MENENDEZ OVER UNDERAGE HOOKER CHARGES…
- ‘I have confidence he did nothing wrong’…
- PROSTITUTE: ‘THEY THREATENED THOSE GIRLS’…
- REPORT: Fourth flight raises new questions…
I point this out because there were people in the comments of my post this morning (“HookerGate: Miami Herald Confirms Elements of Menendez Prostitute Story“) who were wondering if the mainstream media were going to ignore this story and let Menendez skate. And the answer to that question is, I don’t think they can, even if they wanted to.
A Dominican prostitute’s firsthand account of sex parties allegedly attended by New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez refers specifically to another participant: Vinicio “Vinicito” Castillo Seman, the scion of a prominent Dominican political family who serves as a lawyer for his cousin, Dr. Salomon Melgen, in the Caribbean nation. . . .
At least one of the women allegedly involved has said she was younger than 18 when she first had sex with Sen. Menendez.
In her account, sent via email on April 21, 2012 to the liberal advocacy group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), the prostitute identified “Vinicito” by name as a participant, along with Melgen and Menendez. . . .
“It was during some yacht outings that I realized I needed to get out of there,” the young prostitute wrote in one email included in that collection, “because these people are so important and they do whatever they want with whomever they want.”
“Vinicito was there, who goes to many of the doctor’s functions and invents things [to do] with the young girls, and then forces them to do the same things with the doctor’s friend. And he really liked it and wanted to take them to another place, but I don’t know where. They threatened those girls and told them to not talk, and that they couldn’t leave.” . . .
In an April 28 email to CREW about the sex parties, the same woman said that “we women are very mistreated,” especially “the younger ones between 16 and 18 years old.”
Go read the whole thing. Menendez denies banging hookers, underage or otherwise, during his Caribbean holidays, but Menendez also originally denied accepting free flights to the Dominican aboard his shady Palm Beach campaign contributor’s private jet — until the FBI started snooping around, and Menendez figured out the jig was up.
What you’re beginning to see now is the drip-drip-drip effect: Once the scandal got serious enough that the New York Times was forced to report on it, that served as a signal to other news organizations that this is a legitimate story, rather than (as many mainstream reporters had apparently wanted to believe) just some flimsy thing ginned up by Menendez’s right-wing enemies.
Guess what? There’s much, much more to come.
Remember that, on Oct. 31, I was able to name Menendez as the focus of the scandal even before the Daily Caller published its first article about the scandal. And what I’m hearing through the grapevine now is that there is so much related stuff — various interesting details about Senator Menendez’s divorce, for example — that the sources are doling out to other news organizations bits and pieces that Daily Caller and Breitbart.com don’t have time to report. There is an entire dossier on Menendez, in other words, and now that there’s blood in the water and lots of journalistic sharks circling the scandal-plagued senator, the contents of that file will be unloaded.
The investigation into his ties with Menendez began in August, after the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington sent an agent the complaint that “Peter Williams” first sent to CREW months before.
CREW, ABC News the FBI had trouble getting Williams to be forthcoming. He refused to meet with them or speak on the phone.
CREW’s executive director, Melanie Sloan, said Williams was also suspicious because the self-described American citizen and father of two daughters claimed to know about the illicit activity since 2008. But he only complained in an election year when control of the Senate was up for grabs.
At one point, on Sept. 12, FBI agent Regino Chavez emailed Williams and said “we have been able to confirm” most of the information he provided. But it’s not clear what that information was.
On Nov. 1, Chavez seemed annoyed that Williams had provided him no access to the alleged prostitutes yet two others gave an interview with the conservative Daily Caller website just before the election that Menendez won. Those prostitutes were not underage and neither claimed Menendez consorted with minors.
Williams suggested that he was not aware of those two prostitutes. They can’t be found any longer. Their former lawyer, Melanio Figueroa, has stopped returning press calls.
The email trail with the agent, sent anonymously to reporters late last month before Menendez was set to chair the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, ends in late December.
Hmmm. So the FBI agent Chavez was “able to confirm” the mysterious tipster’s information in September, and yet it was not until January that the FBI raided the Palm Beach offices of Menendez’s big donor Dr. Melgen. Could it be that powerful political figures at the Justice Department were less than eager to pursue this investigation?
Just askin’ questions. As Professor Jacobson says, I’m “all over the story like a U.S. Senator on a Dominican prostitute.” Expect more, soon.
- Feb. 4: HookerGate: Miami Herald Confirms Elements of Menendez Prostitute Story
- Feb. 2: Billion With a ‘B’: Did Menendez Provide Special Favors to HookerGate Donor?
- Jan. 31: If You Don’t Think ‘Jailbait Hookers’ Is Headline News, You Don’t Know News
- Jan. 30: HookerGate: Is FBI Raid Connected to Menendez’s Dominican Jailbait Scandal?
- Nov. 1: KYRILLOS CAMPAIGN RESPONDS TO MENENDEZ SEX ACCUSATIONS
- Oct. 31: BOB MENENDEZ AND HOOKERS?