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Dominican Law Enforcement Alleges Link Between The Daily Caller And False Allegations Against Sen. Menendez

Officials in the Dominican Republic investigating the prostitution charges against New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez are claiming a link between the women who were paid to make up the allegations and a prominent conservative website:

A top Dominican law enforcement official said Friday that a local lawyer has reported being paid by someone claiming to work for the conservative Web site the Daily Caller to find prostitutes who would lie and say they had sex for money with Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.).

The local lawyer told Dominican investigators that a foreign man, who identified himself as “Carlos,” had offered him $5,000 to find and pay women in the Caribbean nation willing to make the claims about Menendez, according to Jose Antonio Polanco, district attorney for the La Romana region, where the investigation is being conducted.

The videotaped claims of two women, made with their faces obscured, were posted last fall on the Daily Caller. The site reported that “the two women said they met Menendez around Easter at Casa de Campo, an expensive 7,000-acre resort in the Dominican Republic. . . . They claimed Menendez agreed to pay them $500 for sex acts, but in the end they each received only $100.”

The Daily Caller issued a statement Friday saying that the information allegedly provided by the Dominican lawyer, Melanio Figueroa, was false.

The Daily Caller said: “At no point did any money change hands between The Daily Caller and any sources or individuals connected with this investigation, nor did anyone named Carlos travel to the Dominican Republic on behalf of The Daily Caller. As recently as two weeks ago, Figueroa was on record with another news outlet as saying the women he represented were telling the truth about their initial allegations against Senator Mendendez.”

Tucker Carlson, who runs the Web site, said in a statement provided through his spokesman that the Daily Caller “never paid anyone, was never asked to pay anyone and of course never would pay anyone for this story.

“It seems clear to me Figueroa is under pressure to change his story,” he said. “What I know for certain is this claim is a lie.”

It strikes me as odd that any organization that wants to maintain credibility of any kind would engage in this kind of activity, what’s more likely is that The Daily Caller had hired Figueroa to investigate the charges against Menendez in the Dominican Republic and that Figueroa acted on his own to create that evidence. Of course, it could all be true. In which case, The Daily Caller would be destroyed.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. legion says:

    Called it. I want to see Tucker’s grimy fingerprints. I want to see him flushed down the toilet of infamy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  2. Jeremy R says:

    Of course, it could all be true. In which case, The Daily Caller would be destroyed.

    Yeah, right. Just like the Shirley Sherrod episode brought down Breitbart.com & James O’keefe (/sarc).

    This sort of thing just makes a Right-Wing yellow journalist wrap themselves in conspiratorial claims of persecution and victim-hood, which usually raises their profile among the wingnuts.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 40 Thumb down 0

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    There is so much self serving lying going on in this case it is impossible for me to get a read on it. I doubt we’ll ever know what really happened here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  4. MM says:

    The Daily Caller will be lionized for this, if it’s true. The base will just see this as retaliation for years of smear jobs that the MSM has done on Republicans.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  5. Not Likely says:

    Let’s parse the Daily Caller’s denial, shall we?

    At no point did any money change hands between The Daily Caller and any sources or individuals connected with this investigation, nor did anyone named Carlos travel to the Dominican Republic on behalf of The Daily Caller.

    e.g. We never paid up, and Carlos was a fake name.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  6. Todd says:

    @Jeremy R: I was just about to say that same thing. The people who read sites like Breitbart, The Blaze, The Daily Caller, etc., will just think this is some sort of lie being spread by the “liberal media”.

    … and even worse, most straight news organizations will still pretend that The Daily Caller is also practicing legitimate journalism; for fear of being called “biased” against Conservatives.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  7. Rob in CT says:

    I figured this was the most likely scenario as soon as we found out somebody paid the prostitutes to lie.

    I have to echo the others in laughing at the idea that this would damage the Caller’s credibility. They only have credibility with folks who are a) extremely gullible; and/or b) have their critical thinking abilities overwhelmed by partisan anger. In other words, people who aren’t going to look at this episode and say “oh, wow, that’s bad. I can’t trust these guys.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  8. the Daily Caller “never paid anyone, was never asked to pay anyone and of course never would pay anyone for this story.

    Hmmmm…sounds like a very specific denial to a somewhat more general accusation.

    Where can I go to bet that the Daily Caller is toast now that Intrade has been shut down?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  9. gVOR08 says:

    Daily Caller destroyed. Right. IOKIYAR.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  10. Sirkowski says:

    Carlos Carlson?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  11. mantis says:

    Where is Jay Tea to blame this on the Washington Post?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  12. Ron Beasley says:

    It strikes me as odd that any organization that wants to maintain credibility of any kind would engage in this kind of activity,

    Tucker Carlson and The Daily Caller had no credibility to maintain.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  13. rudderpedals says:

    Too easy. It smells. I mean it is out there, though.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  14. wr says:

    Little Jay/Jenos is busy running away until he can figure out how to change the subject.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  15. anjin-San says:

    @ wr

    Perhaps a simple “JJ” wil do when referring to Indy…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  16. Dazedandconfused says:

    @Jeremy R:

    Aye.

    “To these men, the truth is but a lie undiscovered.” -Mary MacGregor

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. Andre Kenji says:

    @Sirkowski:

    Carlos Carlson?

    Tuco Carlson is more appropriate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Since Doug only bothered to (selectively) quote TheDC’s response and not link to it, I’ll step in and assist him. One key point:

    Figueroa blamed four news outlets — CNN, The Daily Caller, Telemundo and Univision — for allegedly encouraging him to fabricate false accusations about Menendez.

    And isn’t Doug’s fixation on discrediting TheDC doing a wonderful job at avoiding discussion of the real scandal with Menendez — the incredibly cozy financial relationship between the NJ Democrat and Dr. Saloman Melgen?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  19. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    If that’s the real scandal, then why didn’t The DC focus on it? And you’re accusing Doug of distractions?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

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  21. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Gold Star for Robot Boy: I just did a quick check — theDC has done plenty of coverage of the financial aspects of Menendez’ alleged corruption. It’s just managed to escape Doug’s notice.

    Here’s one good story about Menendez that focused on the money — Doug missed that one, it seems. However, there are still mentions of the prostitutes, if you’re looking for the prurient.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1