“It’s appropriate actuality in this abominable FBI affidavit. President Obama’s Justice Department had affirmation that ‘for several years, Menendez had been traveling to the Dominican Republic to appoint in animal action with prostitutes — some of whom were minors,’ alike as adolescent as 16.”
— Advance ad from U.S. Senate appointee Bob Hugin (R-N.J.) about Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Oct. 15, 2018
An 11th-hour advance ad from a Republican applicant in New Jersey rehashes old, ambiguous accusations that Sen. Robert Menendez slept with arrears workers during trips to the Dominican Republic.
These claims emerged canicule afore Menendez was reelected to the Senate in 2012. The FBI and a army of reporters from civic and New Jersey account organizations spent months investigating whether the abettor was committing animal crimes with amateur alfresco the country. The accusations were never substantiated.
Six years later, weeks afore Menendez goes on the acclamation again, the accusations are back. They’re on TV and YouTube, on Facebook and Twitter, and on a website set up by Hugin’s campaign.
The Hugin affected says he is not accusing Menendez of sleeping with arrears workers, alone that bodies should booty a beginning attending at these accusations in the afflicted altitude of the #MeToo era. That’s a accurate trick: Throw a bomb assimilate the battlefield and ask the army to defuse or detonate.
“The accessible has a appropriate to apperceive all the facts about the FBI analysis of @SenatorMenendez and adjudge for themselves,” Hugin tweeted Oct. 15.
We accustomed Hugin’s invitation, advised the complete adventure anew, analyzed the Hugin campaign’s acknowledging abstracts for the ad and dug into the two acknowledged filings at the centermost of these claims — a 2013 affirmation from an FBI abettor who advised the accusations and a 2015 cloister filing that the Department of Justice submitted in Menendez’s bribery case.
The Justice Department accusable Menendez on bribery allege in 2015 and argued that he acted as the “personal United States senator” for his acquaintance and top donor, Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen. Menendez was accused of pressuring top admiral in President Barack Obama’s administering to booty accomplishments that would account Melgen’s banking interests in the United States and the Dominican Republic, in barter for abundant gifts, blueblood biking apartment and hundreds of bags of dollars in political contributions adjoin Menendez’s reelection bid that accustomed the abettor to alive able-bodied above his agency on Melgen’s dime. Among added charges, Menendez was accused of accepting U.S. visas for Melgen’s adopted girlfriends and declining to accommodate several flights on Melgen’s jet in his banking acknowledgment forms.
The board in Newark apoplectic in 2017, the adjudicator declared a mistrial and afterwards acquitted Menendez of assorted charges, and the Justice Department alone the blow of the case. But the Senate Ethics Committee “severely admonished” the Democratic abettor in a four-page letter. In a abstracted case that did not absorb Menendez, Melgen was bedevilled to 17 years in bastille for ambidexterity Medicare of $73 million.
Long afore it crumbled, the case adjoin Menendez additionally complex . Ultimately, however, the allegations that Menendez slept with workers, arrears or otherwise, did not accomplish the cut and were not allotment of the allegation or trial.
(Note: The underage-prostitution allegations are not the aforementioned as the bribery allegations from developed women who claimed Menendez did not pay them in abounding in a abode arise in 2012 by the bourgeois Daily Caller. Those women afterwards recanted.)
The underage-prostitution accusations were beatific aboriginal to a nonprofit babysitter group, Citizens for Albatross and Ethics in Washington (CREW), via email by a bearding adviser calling himself “Peter Williams.” This appears to be a advertence to Harrison “Pete” Williams, the aftermost New Jersey abettor to wind up in the slammer. Williams was bedevilled of bribery in 1981 as allotment of the Abscam scandal.
Unable to verify the accusations bond Menendez to arrears workers, CREW referred Williams’s communications to the FBI.
“Menendez has abounding ambiguous issues in his past, so I am not a big apostle of Bob Menendez. That said, this ad is outrageous,” said Melanie Sloan, a above federal prosecutor who was the controlling administrator of CREW at the time. “I can acquaint you definitively that there was no affirmation anytime to abutment the underage-prostitution allegations.” Sloan is a above Democratic aldermanic aide.
Williams emailed the FBI with accusations about four declared arrears workers in the Dominican Republic who he claimed had with Menendez, according to an affirmation filed on Feb. 14, 2013, by an FBI appropriate abettor on the case, Gregory J. Sheehy. None of these four declared workers was declared in the affidavit. Williams was the abandoned antecedent for their claims.
CREW accustomed three added emails purportedly beatific by an developed woman, articular alone as “M.C.,” who was declared by Williams as a prostitute for Melgen. Williams forwarded the aboriginal of those emails from M.C. to CREW.
M.C. wrote that she saw Menendez accommodating in “ual activities with prostitutes” as adolescent as 16 years old, according to the FBI affidavit. Sheehy acclaimed in the affirmation that IP abode annal showed M.C.’s and Williams’s emails came from altered locations at altered times. “It would appear, therefore, that ‘M.C.’ and Peter Williams are in actuality altered people,” Sheehy wrote, afterwards clearing the question. M.C.’s emails did not acknowledgment specific arrears workers.
The best atomic affirmation in Hugin’s ad is a adduce from Sheehy’s affidavit: “For several years, Menendez had been traveling to the Dominican Republic to appoint in animal action with prostitutes — some of whom were minors.”
But the ad leaves out an important allegation anon afore that. The abounding book reads, “In that email and in the emails that followed, Mr. Williams declared that, for several years, Menendez had been traveling to the Dominican Republic to appoint in animal action with prostitutes — some of whom were minors.” (Emphasis ours.)
Sheehy was not adage — as Hugin’s ad suggests — that the FBI had affirmation of the underage-prostitution accusations adjoin Menendez. He was anecdotic Williams’s allegations. The Hugin ad doesn’t acknowledgment Williams.
The Sheehy affirmation additionally includes this paragraph: “As of the autograph of this Amended Affidavit, Mr. Williams has banned to accommodated with the FBI, either by buzz or in person. Mr. Williams has not appear abundant advice for the FBI to analyze any minors.”
Missing from Hugin’s ad is the key actuality that Sheehy in his affirmation accurately asked a adjudicator to acquisition apparent account that Melgen advisedly affianced with workers, including minors. But Sheehy did not seek that aforementioned apparent account assurance for Menendez.
This is important because apparent account is a almost low bar in the acknowledged system. It is not abundant to prove answerability above a reasonable agnosticism (which is the accepted for convictions). Apparent account is abundant to accredit an arrest or chase accreditation for an alone doubtable of wrongdoing. The FBI affirmation did not seek a apparent account assurance that Menendez affianced workers, arrears or otherwise, although it did lay out apparent account for the bribery and bribery allegations adjoin the senator.
It’s not difficult to see why the FBI advised the underage-prostitution allegations. Some of the aliment crumbs Williams was giving the FBI led to complete people. The affirmation says FBI agents interviewed “Y.F.” and Svitlana Buchyk, two developed women whom Williams had declared as workers alive for Melgen. In their FBI interviews, both denied they were workers, both said they had been girlfriends of Melgen, and both told the FBI they never saw Menendez in the aggregation of “prostitutes or arrears females.”
Some of the aliment crumbs were dates that angry out to bout Menendez’s visits to the Dominican Republic. The Sheehy affirmation says Menendez was in that country at the aforementioned times acicular out in Williams’s emails: February 2009, May 2009, May 2010 and December 2011. Williams in one email anesthetized on advice from the fourth declared arrears worker, who he said had animal encounters with Menendez during those aforementioned months and in June 2009. The FBI acclaimed that Menendez was not on the island in June 2009, although he was visiting a the end of May 2009.
Hugin’s ad about raises the anxiety about those old aliment crumbs and ignores all the added accordant but annoying advice in the FBI affirmation and in account letters arise over the aing several years.
Weeks afterwards Sheehy filed the affidavit, The Washington Post’s Carol D. Leonnig and Ernesto Londoño appear on March 4, 2013:
The adviser [Peter Williams], who aftermost bounce began e-mailing allegations to a government babysitter accumulation and the FBI, said he had affirmation that Menendez had relations with arrears prostitutes and alternate in parties abiding by Melgen, his acquaintance and political backer.
FBI agents administering interviews in the Dominican Republic accept begin no affirmation to aback up the tipster’s allegations, according to two bodies a on their work.
More than a year later, Leonnig and The Post’s Manuel Roig-Franzia appear on July 7, 2014:
According to a above U.S. official with immediate ability of government intelligence, the CIA had acquired aboveboard evidence, including Internet agreement addresses, bond Cuban agents to the bribery claims and to efforts to bulb the adventure in U.S. and Latin American media.
The declared Cuba affiliation was laid out in an intelligence abode provided aftermost year to U.S. government admiral and beatific by dedicated cable to the FBI’s counterintelligence division, according to the above official and a added actuality with aing ties to Menendez who had been a on the matter.
The intelligence advice adumbrated that agents from Cuba’s Directorate of Intelligence helped actualize a affected adviser application the name “Pete Williams,” according to the above official. The adviser told FBI agents and others he had advice about Menendez accommodating in poolside parties with arrears prostitutes while vacationing at the Dominican Republic home of Salomon Melgen, a affluent eye doctor, donor and acquaintance of the senator.
A abettor for the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, which functions as the island’s U.S. adept outpost, did not acknowledge to requests for comment.
Menendez has continued been a boxy analyzer of the Cuban government and the Castro brothers. He was administrator of the Senate Adopted Relations Committee from 2013 to 2015 and is now the baronial Democrat on the panel.
According to The Post’s reporting, FBI agents in the Dominican Republic did not acquisition affirmation to abutment the tipster’s claims that Menendez slept with arrears workers — and an intelligence abode beatific to U.S. government admiral said the tipster, Peter Williams, was bogus by Cuban agents aggravating to bulb the bribery adventure in U.S. and Latin American media.
“The Washington Post was wrong,” Hugin’s advance says on a website. “In 2015, the Obama Justice Department said it had specific, corroborated allegations of Menendez agreeable [in] acts with amateur and that they ‘were not so calmly disprovable.’ In fact, the FBI abundant added allegations that showed Melgen’s ties to women; alike his own pilot declared ‘young girls’ who ‘looked like escorts.’ The FBI was able to verify adolescent women with banking ties to Melgen as actuality in Casa de Campo at the aforementioned time as Menendez.”
The Post’s advisedly advertisement poses an aggravation for Hugin and his ad. But he does not accommodate affirmation that it’s wrong.
The Hugin advance is apropos to an August 2015 filing from the Justice Department in the Menendez bribery case. That certificate was not charging or substantiating allegations that Menendez affianced arrears workers. It argued that the FBI had complete affirmation to investigate these allegations. (Remember the aliment crumbs?)
Before his balloon began, Menendez had filed a motion to aish the bribery case. As one base for his motion, Menendez declared prosecutorial misconduct, acumen that because the FBI’s analysis began with the underage-prostitution allegations, aggregate that followed on bribery was tainted. (The adjudicator alone this argument.)
The Justice Department in its 2015 filing was battling this allegation of prosecutorial delinquency by answer that it begin abundant links to investigate (but not charge) the underage-prostitution allegations. Let’s booty a look.
The filing says: “Presented with specific, corroborated allegations that defendants Menendez and Melgen had with arrears prostitutes in the Dominican Republic, the Government responsibly and accurately advised those austere allegations. The allegation here, of course, allege alone bribery and does not accommodate any allegations of soliciting arrears prostitution.”
Here’s the money paragraph:
As would be done in the accustomed course, the Government took amenable accomplish to investigate these austere bent allegations, which were not so “easily disprovable,” as the defendants suggest. Some eyewitnesses declared a affair abounding by actor Melgen in Casa de Campo — area actor Melgen has a home and area actor Menendez generally visited — involving prostitutes. Furthermore, actor Melgen has aureate abundant adolescent women from the United States and from added countries on his clandestine jet to the Dominican Republic. Abounding of these adolescent women accept abundant banking abutment from actor Melgen. For example, actor Melgen flew two adolescent women — whom he met while they were assuming at a South Florida “Gentlemen’s” Club — on his clandestine jet to his alcazar in Casa de Campo the day afterwards advantageous one adolescent woman $1,000 and the added adolescent woman $2,000. Indeed, one of actor Melgen’s pilots declared “young girls” who “look[ed] like escorts” traveling at assorted times on actor Melgen’s clandestine jet. Some adolescent women who accustomed abundant sums of money from actor Melgen were in the aforementioned abode as actor Menendez at the aforementioned time. Moreover, back the allegations were aboriginal reported, actor Menendez dedicated himself with accessible statements that are calmly disprovable. Specifically, he again several times that he had alone aureate on actor Melgen’s clandestine jet on three occasions. That representation is demonstrably false. Confronted with acceptance affirmation of such austere crimes, it would accept been an blamable abdication of albatross not to investigate these allegations.
Prosecutors mentioned “specific, corroborated allegations” and “corroborating evidence,” but a aing attending at the filing does not appearance claims that Menendez had with prostitutes of any age or was in the aforementioned abode as prostitutes.
What the filing does say is:
Prosecutors allege about their affirmation through bent charges. This 2015 filing accurately says that the allegation does not accommodate allege of soliciting arrears workers and that accomplishing so alfresco the United States would be a crime. The filing does not break The Post’s advertisement accurately or broadly. It’s accessible for two things to be accurate at once: The FBI saw abundant smoke to alpha an analysis into the underage-prostitution accusations, and the FBI afterwards begin no affirmation to abutment these accusations. That’s what a abounding analysis of the facts indicates.
Incidentally, this anchorman speaks Spanish calmly and catholic to the Dominican Republic in 2013, partly to investigate the underage-prostitution allegations. At that time, this anchorman formed for the Newark Star-Ledger. Another anchorman at the bi-weekly who was communicating with Peter Williams via email anesthetized forth a blast cardinal for one of the workers who purportedly had been complex with Menendez. This anchorman dialed the number; no one best up.
Why is this ad advancing out now, weeks afore the election?
“Bob Menendez is a hypocrite,” the Hugin website says. “Last anniversary in a accent on the attic of the Senate, Bob Menendez declared for all women to be believed. Yet, Menendez claims that no one should accept the arrears women who accused him.”
Hugin’s website compares the accusations that Menendez solicited arrears workers with the allegations of animal advance from Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Supreme Cloister Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh of aphotic her over her clothes and accoutrement her aperture in an appointment from 1982 that he denied.
The Hugin website additionally refers to a New Jersey accompaniment government official declared Katie Brennan, who has declared that a above advance abettor and administering official for Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) declared Albert J. Alvarez raped her and went unpunished. He denied the allegation through his attorney.
There are accessible differences here: Ford came advanced in an account with The Post and gave affirmation affirmation to the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Hugin in the end said he would accept voted for Kavanaugh. Menendez voted no.) Brennan abundant her advance for New Jersey prosecutors and came advanced in an account with the Wall Street Journal.
The declared arrears workers in the Dominican Republic never came forward, their identities aren’t known, and The Post’s advertisement indicates these accusations were allotment of a Cuban artifice to tar Menendez.
Women in the Dominican Republic may not feel as empowered as those in the United States to appear advanced with accusations about , abnormally in the case of a able adopted official such as Menendez. Yet these accusations were advised by the FBI, CREW, and journalists from assorted account organizations in New Jersey and nationally. The FBI, as noted, did not seek a apparent account assurance for Menendez over the bribery allegations, although it did seek one for Melgen.
Responding to abundant questions, Hugin advance abettor Nick Iacovella wrote in an email that “statements by Mr. Williams to an FBI abettor are evidence,” that “statements by M.C. and the fourth declared victim are additionally evidence” and that “the DOJ consistently has affirmation of crimes that it does not prosecute.”
He wrote: “We accept the allegations to be credible. In ample part, because the FBI believed them to be aboveboard and corroborated key facts. The actuality that The Post has a above official adage U.S. intelligence ‘suggested’ Peter Williams was a persona created by the Cuban government is not dispositive of anything. In fact, it is little added than buzz based on innuendo. It absolutely wouldn’t be acceptable in any court. Nor does it backpack the weight of affirmation statements by an FBI abettor or a DOJ argumentation suggesting the allegations were aboveboard and had been corroborated. Moreover, this is aloof one of the assorted cabal theories that has been peddled by Menendez and his supporters. Remember, Melgen initially denied the claims as those of business associates. Menendez said they were allotment of a bourgeois conspiracy, again Cuba, again the Obama Justice Department backbreaking him for his position on Iran.”
He added: “There are differences in the actuality that Ford and Brennan were adventurous abundant to appear advanced and footfall into the cruel spotlight to accomplish their accusations. However, anonymity is not affirmation of falsity. The actuality is that best victims of animal advance do not appear advanced and we doubtable that the allotment of victims of trafficking and arrears bribery who appear advanced is alike lower abnormally back they do not adore the aforementioned protections as Ford and Brennan and are authoritative allegations apropos men who exercise astronomic access in a country afterwards the aforementioned protections as the United States.”
To allege a battling applicant of maybe sleeping with arrears prostitutes, solid affirmation is an complete must. The affirmation for Hugin’s ad fails the test. There’s annihilation new in the ad except for a aphotic coast into acerb haze.
Hugin’s advance ad says the FBI had “evidence” that Menendez slept with arrears workers but neglects to acknowledgment that the FBI attributed this to Peter Williams. Additionally absent from the ad: The FBI said in the aforementioned affirmation that it could not analyze any amateur based on the advice Williams provided. Additionally absent: The actuality that the FBI did not lay out a base for apparent account that Menendez affianced arrears workers.
Also absent: The Justice Department did not allegation these allegations. Additionally absent: The Washington Post appear that the FBI advised in the Dominican Republic and begin no evidence. Additionally absent: The Post appear on intelligence accustomed by U.S. admiral that the Cubans fabricated up Peter Williams as allotment of a artful operation to tar Menendez, a political foe.
All of this is crucial, mitigating information; none of it is new this year. Hugin is right: “The accessible has a appropriate to apperceive all the facts about the FBI analysis of @SenatorMenendez and adjudge for themselves.”
Our decision: Four Pinocchios.
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2018-10-17 14:50:39 UTC
“It’s appropriate actuality in this abominable FBI affidavit. President Obama’s Justice Department had affirmation that ‘for several years, [Bob] Menendez had been traveling to the Dominican Republic to appoint in animal action with prostitutes — some of whom were minors,’ alike as adolescent as 16.”
Attack ad from Bob Hugin
U.S. Senate appointee (R-N.J.)
in an advance ad
Monday, October 15, 2018
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