Background: just before the election a story broke alleging that Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey had taken advantage of the hospitality of one of his campaign contributors to go down to the Dominican Republic (via the aforementioned contributor’s private plane) and use the services of at least two prostitutes (one of whom may or may not have been underage). Worse, he allegedly refused to pay said foreign partially-underaged hookers the full amount that Menendez allegedly promised to pay – and, let me note again this in passing: to patronize a prostitute is hardly a moral act. But if you must do this, pay what you said that you were going to pay. There is a difference between being uncouth, and being a cad.
Anyway, life may get very interesting for Senator Menendez:
FBI agents late Tuesday night 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, D-N.J. — who has denied what he calls the “fallacious allegations.”
Agents gathered at 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.
Senator Menendez has been not-willing-to-dignify-these-accusations-with-a-response the story first since it broke, and since it heated up again after the Daily Caller indicated that it had emails that the FBI was investigating the matter. Well… the FBI is certainly investigating SOMETHING, isn’t it? This puts a very interesting light on the fact that Bob Menendez ducked out of yesterday’s Senate immigration press conference early, without taking questions. It sort of didn’t make sense at the time, but then at the time the FBI raid on Salomon Melgen hadn’t happened yet, either. Bottom line here is this: when the FBI does a raid, it’s usually as per a script that has already progressed quite far and will end with somebody being arranged in the near future. Dr. Melgen is probably the current scapegoat, but honestly… the prosecutor won’t want a Florida eye doctor when s/he can get a US Senator. No prosecutor ever BECAME a Senator from putting a Florida eye doctor in jail.
One last note: the regular media could have picked all of this up two months ago; only, they apparently decided that they could get away with ignoring it because it was coming from the Daily Caller. While I certainly don’t mind people thus coming to the conclusion that online sources are faster at breaking stories, you’d think that print and television media might have a different viewpoint about that…
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: Let me just forestall something: yes, the FBI can and will ignore any random desires of the administration to squash this investigation, largely because Barack Obama won’t put any of those desires in writing and the FBI know that it will still be around long after Barack Obama retires to Hawaii. Certainly the next Director of the FBI plans to be. I know that it’s fashionable to assume and assert that the White House can order the bureaucracy to commit acts of seppuku without stint, but the reality is that the true infrastructure of the federal government is right now transitioning to patiently waiting for the current lame duck to inexorably leave office. It’s remarkably good at that.
*Oh, the Miami Herald will be happy to tell you who:
[Marco] Rubio is one of the few big-name Florida politicians who has not received campaign money from the Melgens, who have contributed to Sen. Bill Nelson and Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Joe Garcia, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart, among others.