Report: Lawyer links Daily Caller to paid Menendez prostitutes

The Daily Caller reportedly tried to find prostitutes who'd lie about Sen. Bob Menendez. The site denies it

Topics: Daily Caller, Robert Menendez, Dominican Republic, Prostitution, New Jersey, Editor's Picks,

Report: Lawyer links Daily Caller to paid Menendez prostitutes (Credit: AP Photo/Mel Evans)

According to law enforcement officials in the Dominican Republic, a local lawyer alleges that he was approached by someone claiming to work for the Daily Caller about finding prostitutes who would say they were solicited by Sen. Bob Menendez, the Washington Post reports.

From the Post:

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 details are sketchy and the lawyer, Melanio Figueroa, is unreliable, himself accused of paying the prostitutes to lie about Menendez. He also recently accused four news outlets, including the Caller, CNN, Telemundo and Univision, of pushing him to make up the allegations.

The Caller denied the allegations in a statement:  “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 Menendez.”



The Daily Caller reported the story back in November, publishing a video of two of the alleged prostitutes, who appeared with Figueroa, and claimed that they were paid for sex by Menendez at the home of a shady Florida doctor named Salomon Melgen. The allegations have since fallen apart, with law enforcement officials saying Monday that the prostitutes were paid to lie, and one saying as much in a court filing. The Caller has since admitted that “several troubling elements in the story remain,” though Menendez is still being investigated by a federal grand jury for his ties to Melgen, unrelated to prostitution.

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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