AP: Three women paid to allege sex with Menendez

The Associated Press is reporting that police in the Dominican Republic say all three women who alleged they were prostitutes who had sex with U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez were paid to make the allegations.

A spokesman for the Dominican police said two of the women were paid about $425 while the third was paid $300 to claim they had sex with the Senator while he was visting the home of campaign donor Salomon Melgen. The allegations first appeared on the conservative Daily Caller in November as Menendez was running for re-election.

A spokesman for Menendez said the revelationsd from the Dominican police prove what the Senator has said since they first surfaced.

“The evidence released today by Dominican law enforcement authorities proves what we have said all along: that the smear campaign against Senator Menendez is based on lies, lies we now know were paid for by interests whose identities have not yet been fully disclosed,” said spokeman Paul Brubaker.  “These lies were peddled to reporters by Republican operatives, as ABC has reported, and also sent to the FBI by parties yet unknown. Making such intentionally false reports to a federal law enforcement agency is a criminal offense, and we hope the proper U.S. authorities will investigate this matter, as their Dominican counterparts are already doing.”

Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported that one of the women admitted she was paid.  The report set off a firestorm of protest from the Daily Caller, whose editor, Tucker Carlson, stood by their original report.

But the alleged trysts are no longer Menendez’s biggest problem.  Earlier this week, the Washington Post reported that Menendez is under a federal grand jury investigation over his role in advocating on behalf of Melgen in two separate business dealings.  According to the Post, the grand jury has issued subpoenas for Melgen’s financial records but has not contacted Menendez.

Melgen has been a heavy donor to Menendez and other Senate Democrats over the years and Menendez has been a visitor to Melgen’s Dominican resort home.  Earlier this year, Menendez acknowledged reimbursing Melgen for three flights on the eye doctor’s private plane.  Two of the lfights occurred in 2010, however, Menendez did not pay for them until January.

AP: Three women paid to allege sex with Menendez