By Darryl R. Isherwood | January 30th, 2013 - 2:38pm
| More

U.S. Sen Bob Menendez issued the following statement on the raid this morning by FBI agents on the office of political supporter Salomon Melgen.

“Dr. Melgen has been a friend and political supporter of Senator Menendez for many years. Senator Menendez has traveled on Dr. Melgen’s plane on three occasions, all of which have been paid for and reported appropriately. Any allegations of engaging with prostitutes are manufactured by a politically-motivated right-wing blog and are false.”

The FBI raided Melgen's West Palm Beach office last night, reportedly hauling away boxes of records.  According to a report in the Miami Herald, the investigation is centered on Melgen's finances and his association with underage prostitutes from the Dominican Republic, though no other information has yet surfaced to support that claim.

Melgen reportedly has an outstanding IRS tax lien of $11 million.

A report in the conservative Daily Caller last November and another last week alleged that Melgen had flown Menendez to the Dominican Republic on his private jets and provided prostitutes, some of them under 18, once there.  The latest report from the Daily Caller alleged that the FBI was investigating claims from an anonymous informant that Menendez and Melgen had solicited the underage prostitutes.

The report relied on emails between the informant, "Peter Williams," and a purported Miami-based FBI Agent.  The agent was contacted by a Washington, D.C., watchdog group after Williams contacted the watchdog group, claiming to represent the prostitutes.

Several attempts by both the FBI, the watchdog group and at least one news outlet to speak with or meet the tipster were unsuccessful. 

But one email from the purported agent, Regino Chavez, claimed the agency was investigating the claims and "we have been able to confirm most of it."

"We know you have been providing accurate information," Chavez wrote to Williams.

The email trail seemed to end in December after Chavez made another attempt to set up a meeting with "Williams" and was rebuffed.

Included in the email chain was what Williams said was an interview with a Dominican prostitute who alleged she had sex with Menendez three times and was underage when she met Menendez.

In November, a spokesman for Menendez called the allegations the product of the "right wing smear machine" and blamed Republican senate candidate Joe Kyrillos  "and his friends in the right wing media."

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 22, 2014

Newark mayor's race: pro-Jeffries independent expenditure group shows donations of $1.3 million, Wall Street ties in ELEC reportNEWARK - Newark First, the independent expenditure group that supports Newark mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries in the run-up to the May 13 municipal election, has been on the attack lately against Jeffries'...

Op-Ed

How the City of Paterson became a city in crisis

By HAYTHAM YOUNES As the May 13th election for Paterson officials nears, I've noticed a lot of candidates running using slogans and empty promises as if they weren't around watching Paterson get to where it's at today. I think it's important that... Read More >

Contributors

(Absecon Island, NJ) --With his shocking win in last year's election, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian emerged as one of the most intriguing figures in the New Jersey political... more »
(4-16-14) New Jersey Vote By Mail Law - The voter turnout for New Jersey’s November gubernatorial election was the lowest since the days of prohibition, coming... more »
When it comes to profiling Christie, facts are for wussies (4/10/14) - As the national media stories on our Guv pile up, expect more blunders about the Garden State.... more »
This week I begin a series called Dispatches from Somewhere Else. Based on my on-going experiences as an everyman in New Jersey politics, these Dispatches review the hollowness of... more »

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"You know what? I'm still Vinny Prieto. I'm still the same guy. This is always a great event — to see people, to talk about business, to hear about issues and concerns." - Assembly Speaker Vinny Prieto (D-32).

- The Star-Ledger

Poll

Are you on this year's Annual Walk to Washington?:

Resources

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources