This is not about New Jersey Democrat Senator Bob Menendez’s politics. This is about Cuba’s terrorist-sponsoring regime’s bold and transparent attempt to intimidate and extort an elected U.S. official into compliance with their objectives or get him out of the way. Regardless of how anyone may feel about Senator Menendez’s political positions, all Americans should be outraged and incensed over this blatant attack against the integrity of our very democracy.
Menendez’s Senate colleagues call for probe of alleged Cuban plot to smear him
A report that Cold War animosities fueled an Internet-age attack against Sen. Bob Menendez brought new attention to the scandal that has nagged him since early last year and, with his own call for more investigation, is unlikely to end soon.
Menendez, an ardent opponent of the Castro regime in Cuba, was on the offensive Tuesday, saying revelations published by The Washington Post meant the Justice Department had to investigate whether Cuban agents were connected to a prostitution smear against him.
The CIA uncovered evidence, including Internet protocol addresses, that links Cuban agents with efforts to spread allegations to media outlets that Menendez had trysts with prostitutes at the Dominican Republic resort home owned by his friend and campaign contributor, Salomon Melgen, the Post reported on Tuesday.
The prostitution allegations were first published by The Daily Caller, a conservative website, days before Menendez’s reelection in November 2012. They burst into the mainstream media the following January, when the FBI raided the Florida office of Melgen, an eye surgeon who was later ordered to refund $8.9 million in improper Medicare payments.
The prostitutes featured in the Daily Caller story later told Dominican authorities they were paid to lie and had not met Menendez.
“If you have a foreign government trying to interfere either with the result of an election or the position of an individual in the United States Senate, that has to be really worrisome, so I would expect that those findings would be fully investigated,” Menendez told The Record on Tuesday.
Several senators interviewed Tuesday said a full investigation was needed. The Justice Department had no comment, and the Post also reported an investigation continues into whether Menendez committed legal or ethical violations in taking official actions connected to the business interests of Melgen, a personal friend and the senator’s biggest contributor in 2012.
Menendez has battled Republican and Democratic administrations, including President Obama’s, to keep the Cuban trade embargo in place until the island nation improved its human rights record.
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