Subscribe Now

travelers today

Home » Trending News

Senator Robert Menendez Denies Improper Travel and Hiring Prostitutes, Insists He Paid Donor for Trips

Travelers Today       By    Amanda Woods

Updated: Jan 31, 2013 12:12 PM EST

Text Size: A A A

Robert Menendez
Sen. Robert Menendez's office insists the senator paid up for two of three trips he took on a donor's plane.(Photo : Reuters)

New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez's office insisted that the senator reimbursed a prominent Florida political donor for two of three trips he took on the donor's plane to the Dominican Republic in 2010 - a total of $58,500 - the Associated Press reported.

These trips were revealed when Menendez's staff searched the senator's records, in response to complaints from New Jersey Republicans. The Republicans spoke out in the wake of allegations that surfaced in the fall from the conservative website The Daily Caller, claiming that Menendez visited the Dominican Republic so he could have sex with prostitutes, the Associated Press reported. The allegations were based on emails from a Yahoo account, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Share This Story

"The senator paid for the two trips out of his personal account and no reporting requirements apply," Menendez spokeswoman Tricia Enright told the Associated Press on Wednesday night.

He paid up after reviewing his own internal findings and travel records, another spokesman, Paul Brubaker, told NJ.com.

The FBI raided the home of the donor, eye doctor Salomon Melgen, in West Palm Beach on Tuesday night, but there is no confirmation that the raid was related to Menendez, the Associated Press reported.

Menendez's third trip on Melgen's plane was professional - to Melgen's home in the Dominican Republic in 2010 - for campaign fundraising purposes. Enright told the Associated Press that the trip was reported to the Federal Election Commission. While there, Menendez raised funds from Americans in the region, ranging from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico.

 But the other two trips were personal, according to the Associated Press - one from South Florida to the Dominican Republic, and the other from New Jersey to the Dominican Republic and back.

Menendez reimbursed those two trips in full, the Associated Press stated, instead of invoking a "friendship exemption," which would have involved him reporting the travel to the State Ethics Committee as a gift.

The senator's office sharply and promptly denied allegations that Menendez visited prostitutes, as well.

"Dr. Melgen has been a friend and political supporter of Senator Menendez for many years," said a statement issued from Menendez's office to NJ.com. "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."

Melanie Sloan, the Executive Director of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics - the group that initially published the prostitute-related allegations - told The Los Angeles Times that her staff could not verify the emails from the Yahoo account, sent by a man who went by Peter Williams. In July, the paper reported, she forwarded the emails to the FBI and the Justice Department. Even she is becoming skeptical.

"I was concerned about the timing, that this guy had had information regarding Menendez, he said, since as early as 2008, but was only coming forward the spring before Menendez's election," Sloan told NJ.com. On Tuesday, Menendez took office as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Emails published on a website indicate that a Miami-based FBI agent communicated with Williams, but an FBI agent The Los Angeles Times reached on Wednesday refused to comment.

As for Melgen, his own financial problems are out in the open. The IRS lodged an $11.1 million tax lien against him, NJ.com reported. Meanwhile, though, he contributes generously to campaigns, and supported the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chaired by Menendez, as well as other congressmembers, including Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Bill Nelson, according to NJ.com. The website also reported that Melgen and his wife contributed $20,000 to Menendez's legal fund when tea party activists spearheaded a recall effort against the senator.

© 2014 Traverlers Today, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Featured Video : Travel Expert Stefanie Michaels aka 'Adventure Girl' Reveals Her Favorite Fourth of July Destinations
Join Our Conversation

ADVERTISEMENT

Travel Tips

Road trip

How to Survive Your Next Road Trip

Here are some tips on how to have a more enjoyable road trip.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive the latest travel news, reviews, and more..

Want more Travel?

Most Popular

manchineel - hippomane manchinella fruit - 1-2

Manchineel Tree Florida: One Of The World's Most Dangerous Tree

Mother Nature may be the source for every human need however there are a few elements in it that are dangerous to the lives of humans. Out of the ten most dangerous plants in the world, there is one tree that humans don’t need to touch to feel its effects. This is none other than the Manchineel Tree Florida.

In this handout from NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory, a solar large flare erupts off the sun June 7, 2011 in space.

Solar Flares Today 2014: 'Extreme' Solar Flare Hit Earth, Aurora Borealis Friday? How Is The Earth Affected?

Solar flares today 2014 appear to be growing stronger. According to multiple reports, one of the solar flares today 2014 that erupted from the sun toward Earth are the X-Class kind, which is known to be extreme and the most dangerous kind. The flare hit the Earth yesterday and another one will be hitting the planet today, which could reportedly cause an Aurora Borealis phenomenon.

Lake Tahoe, NV, Sand Harbor (2) 9-2010

Lake Tahoe Earthquake Today: Magnitude-3.5 Earthquake Rattles Near Tahoe Vista, Calif.

Lake Tahoe earthquake today rattled near Tahoe Vista, Calif. and fortunately, it wasn’t strong to have produced injuries to residents of the area. According to multiple reports the, the Lake Tahoe earthquake today was of a magnitude 3.5.

High Gas Prices Spark Interest In Public Transportation

7 Arrested in Machete Attack Chicago Four Adults, Three Juveniles Seized over Gang-Related Train Station Assault

7 Arrested in Machete Attack Chicago - Four adults and three juveniles were taken into custody and accused of a gang-related assault captured on a surveillance video at a Chicago train station.

Diagio VIP Lounge

Delta Air Lines Flight Rerouted For Angry Lady Hit Accidentally in Head Due To Reclined Seat

A Delta Air Lines flight was diverted when a 52-year-old woman got mad when an older lady in front reclined her seat and accidentally hit her in the head.

Moxy Milan

Modern Moxy Hotels by Marriott Perfect For the Budget Traveler

Marriott’s Moxy Hotels were introduced today in Milan, Italy, offering a modern twist to the hospitality industry.

Italy, Campania, Napoli district, Capri, Faraglioni, Seascape with rocks

Isola La Gaiola: The Cursed Island In Italy

Italy is filled with beautiful tourist spots such as the impressive structures of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. While some of the tourist spots in Italy are open to the public, there is one island that despite its’ beauty is said to be cursed. Isola La Gaiola found in the province of Naples is allegedly cursed.

Find Us on Facebook

travelers today

© Copyright 2014 Travelers Today All Rights Reserved.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Real Time Analytics