The Other McCain

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Sources Tell Washington Post FBI Can’t Find Menendez’s Dominican Hookers

Posted on | February 16, 2013 | 58 Comments

There’s a good news/bad news factor here. The good news is, the Washington Post can’t keep ignoring or downplaying the allegations:

A team of FBI agents has been conducting interviews in recent weeks in the Dominican Republic and the United States, looking into allegations that Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) patronized prostitutes in the Caribbean nation, but has found no evidence to support the claim, according to two people familiar with the investigation.
One person said agents have asked about whether a Florida eye doctor — a close friend and major campaign donor to Menendez — provided the senator with prostitutes on vacations there. Another person said investigators are looking into allegations involving underage prostitutes and sex parties.
The two, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an active investigation, said FBI agents are following leads provided by an unknown tipster. In a series of e-mails with the FBI, the tipster alleged that the doctor, Salomon Melgen, had made prostitutes available to Menendez while he was staying at his friend’s resort home in the Dominican Republic. The tipster, in particular, mentioned young prostitutes and prostitution parties.

As I say, the mere fact that the Washington Post decided to report this aspect of the Menendez investigation is good news, and we have to be grateful for that, having previously whacked them over the head for trying to downplay the sex-scandal angle.

The bad news is that the Post’s sources are saying that the feds haven’t been able to verify these allegations, which raises a couple of questions:

  1. Who are the Post‘s sources? Are these career law-enforcement personnel at the FBI or — as I am tempted to think — are these Obama’s political appointees at the Department of Justice, who certainly have an obvious motive for wanting to throw cold water on any suspicions that a top Democrat has been banging hookers in a Caribbean island resort?
  2. Why can’t the Post be bothered to do any investigating of its own? Forget partisan bias and just think what a huge story this could be: Top senator on the Foreign Relations Committee partying down with jailbait prostitutes in the seaside resort mansion owned by his shady Florida contributor? There’s got to be at least a book contract, and maybe a major motion picture deal, for the journalist who can get the scoop on a juicy scandal like that. And if you’re a reporter for the Washington Post, would you rather be stuck inside a fluorescent-lit office in D.C., or flying off at company expense to the Dominican Republic to interview prostitutes? Did I mention prostitution is legal in the Dominican Republic?

If I were a young reporter, I’d be begging for an assignment like that. Hell, if I thought The American Spectator would foot the bill for such an expedition, I’d already be relaxing in the warm tropical sunshine, headquartered at the poolside bar of the Renaissance Hotel . . .

But no, Wlady Pleszczynski would never approve such a project, and who can blame him? I got into enough trouble just covering the presidential campaign stateside. The prospect of me running amok on some bizarre gonzo trip to Santo Domingo would be a nightmare.

So I’m going to have to take a pass on this story, but what’s stopping the Washington Post from flying a couple of would-be Woodward and Bernstein types down to the Dominican Republic?

If Bob Menendez was a Republican senator, you can damn well bet the Post would spare no expense to uncover the truth. They’d interview every call girl, street-walker and “escort” on the island before they quit. Instead, they’re willing to accept the word of a couple of Justice Department sources that there’s nothing to those allegations of Menendez cavorting with teenage hookers at Casa de Campo? Would Ben Bradlee have been satisfied with John Mitchell telling him that all this talk about Gordon Liddy and Howard Hunt was mere innocent hijinks?

Times change. Back in the day, the Washington Post exposed corrupt cover-ups. Nowadays, they’re active participants in the cover-up. Meanwhile, the guy who originally broke the story, Matthew Boyle continues covering the Menendez scandal at Breitbart.com:

Well, the truth will come out eventually, and when it does, I strongly suspect some of these mainstream journalists who are still sneering at the prostitution angle in the Menendez story will owe Matthew Boyle a huge apology for doubting his reporting.

UPDATE: Suppose that you were an embattled senator trying to survive a scandal involving an FBI investigation. Wouldn’t you think it a clever move to hire Matt Miller, former spokesman for Attorney General Eric Holder to help you navigate the controversy? And if such an aforesaid embattled senator hired a guy so closely connected to the head of the Justice Department, wouldn’t a skeptical reporter be rather suspicious of being contacted by Justice Department sources eager to confide — on the basis of anonymity — that the FBI investigation of the embattled senator hadn’t turned up any real evidence?

Is the Washington Post being disingenuous here? Do they really think we’re too stupid to figure out that their “reporting” is actually part of the Menendez/Miller narrative-management strategy?

Well, the Post is probably too busy covering other scandals . . .

(Hat-tip: Roger W. King on Twitter.)

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