Not the sort of good news a politician usually wants, but New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez will undoubtedly take what he can get. One of the women featured in a video accusing the senator of soliciting prostitutes (namely, herself) has recanted. Carol Leonnig and Ernesto Londono of the Washington Post provide the update:
An escort who appeared on a video claiming Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) paid her for sex has told Dominican Republic police that she was instead paid to make up the claims in a tape recording and has never met or seen the senator before, according to court documents and two people briefed on her claim.An escort who appeared on a video claiming Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) paid her for sex has told Dominican Republic police that she was instead paid to make up the claims in a tape recording and has never met or seen the senator before, according to court documents and two people briefed on her claim.
The woman identified a lawyer who approached her and a friend to make the videotape, according to affidavits obtained by the Post. That man has in turn identified another lawyer who gave him a script for the tape and paid him to find women to fabricate the claims, the affidavits say.
The two videotapes were the centerpiece of the conservative website Daily Caller's accusations against Menendez. We must modestly note that we were skeptical at the outset. If one of the videos actually was faked, it stands to reason that both could easily have been. As the Post notes, the FBI has found no evidence that the Daily Caller's accusations were true.
Menendez is hardly home free. In the intervening weeks since the videos surfaced, The Times uncovered a series of questionable practices by the senator, including apparently steering business to a key donor. If nothing else, Menendez has learned at least one thing from the Daily Caller's attacks.
“It’s amazing to me that anonymous, nameless, faceless individuals on a Web site can drive that type of story into the mainstream, but that’s what they’ve done successfully,” Menendez said last month.
We're amazed he's amazed.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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