Washington Post columnist Chris , “The Fix” Cillizza today named U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez as having the worst week in Washington.
Menendez this week has been forced to fend off allegations that he had sex with underage hookers while visiting the Dominican Republic with a campaign contributor.
“Anytime a U.S. Senator is forced to go on the record to deny liaisons with Dominican prostitutes, it’s probably not a good week for him,” Cillizza wrote.
On Tuesday, the office of a Florida-based eye doctor who has been a heavy contributor to Menendez was raided by FBI agents, who hauled away boxes of records from the Palm Beach office. The doctor, Salomon Melgen, was previously implicated by an anonymous tipster as having provided Menendez with flights to the Dominican Republic and prostitutes – some of them underage – while he was there.
The news has roiled Washington and New Jersey and put Menendez on the defensive, even as he prepares to assume the chairmanship of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“The irony is that this happened in a week when Menendez should have been celebrating his ascent to chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and his key role in the immigration reform proposal that emerged from the Senate,” Cillizza said.
Menendez was on hand Thursday at the annual congressional dinner, where he was due to speak. The senator entered the ballroom chased by a media scrum, but refused to comment to the gathered reporters.