Long-time readers of this blog know that I have not written favorably about the senior senator from New Jersey in the past.
This new story, however, has the fetid odor of a smear campaign:
Feds reportedly looking into Robert Menendez for allegedly helping fugitive bankers. The “fugitive bankers” are Ecuadorian brothers William and Roberto Isaías, who fled Ecuador ten years ago after the government allegedly confiscated media outlets they owned which were critical of the government. They are here legally.
The Isaías brothers
have a variety of real estate and oil holdings in the United States, and recently acquired to broadcast rights of CNN Latino. They have also created a network of private schools, according to Andes, Ecuador’s state news agency.
Now NBC NY is echoing the accusations the Ecuadorian government made against the brothers, charges for which Ecuador has provided no evidence,
The ambassador recommended the Isaias brothers be kicked out of the United States. But to date, the Justice Department says Ecuador’s government, which has been at odds with the U.S. in recent years, has not provided enough evidence to warrant extradition.
Ecuador has seized many of the Isaias brothers’ assets in that country. But so far, a court in Florida has rejected Ecuador’s efforts to seize assets inside the U.S.
Based on unnamed sources, NBC says that
the FBI is looking into why the New Jersey Democrat contacted a high-ranking official at the Department of Homeland Security in April 2012 to ask him to give “full consideration” and “expedite” its review of the case of William and Roberto Isaias, who are seeking permanent residence in the U.S. The report said Menendez also made calls to the Department of State about the brothers.
And Ricardo Patino, Ecuador’s chancellor, has said he thinks campaign donations to American politicians have helped the brothers stay in the country.
Let’s ponder that for a moment: The Correa regime thinks something, so NBC NY runs a story on it?
The same NBC whose talking heads support immigration amnesty?
There remains the Melgen investigation. A grand jury in Florida already found no basis for the prostitution allegations; the remaining investigation should be concluded and not dragged unnecessarily.
But this new story is flimsy indeed. Members of Congress routinely hear from their constituents on a variety of issues, and, going by the article, Menendez does not appear to have done anything inappropriate.
Menendez said that he had not heard anything from federal authorities.
Menendez, a member of Congressional Human Rights Caucus, has been a staunch supporter of human rights, meeting with dissidents, and consistently opposing lifting the travel ban on Cuba, “a regime that denies its own people basic human rights,”
He’s consistently shown vigorous support for the State of Israel against Hamas in Gaza, and supports international sanctions against the Iranian nuclear program – the sanctions that Ecuador and Venezuela attempt to help Iran avoid.
So, let’s ask, who gains from smearing Menendez? Who is to gain from having Menendez removed as chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations?
Ecuadorians Deny Making Improper Contributions to Sen. Menendez
Linked to by Babalu. Thank you!