Accompanied by more than a dozen high-profile Democratic women at a press conference in Hackensack, Menendez angrily accused Bob Hugin of resurrecting false and salacious charges in what he called a “desperate and blatantly false ad.”
Hillary Clinton unhurt in Jersey City parking garage crash
“These are lies. I know it, you know it, and Bob Hugin damn sure knows it,” declared Menendez. “Hugin is spreading so many lies that its almost hard to keep track.”
“This deceitful and despicable attack ad tells you everything you need to know about Republican Bob Hugin, that he is a slimeball, a misogynist and that hes a liar,” said Menendez. “Bob Hugin is down in the polls, wrong on the issues and he is desperate to distract the people of New Jersey from his own shameful record.”
The Hugin campaign, which has called Menendez a “career, corrupt politician,” did not back down from the accusations.
“Senator Menendez is a hypocrite and a liar,” said campaign spokeswoman Megan Piwowar in a statement. “While Menendez may want citizens of NJ to forget that the FBI had very specific allegations he had sex with underage women in the Dominican, our ad reminds them exactly what kind of a person they have in Bob Menendez. “
Hillary Clinton apparently unharmed in parking-garage crash
The ad makes reference to an FBI affidavit that was filed to show probable cause for a search warrant. However, there was never any evidence or confirmation of such allegations, nor were any charges filed in connection with the matter.
According to the Jersey City police, the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate and longtime Chappaqua resident was not injured and declined medical care when the Secret Service vehicle she was riding in was involved in the crash.
Clinton walked to Menendez fundraiser after crash, report says
Menendez said the Hugin ad was independently debunked by the New York Times, USA Today, NJ Advance Media and Washington Post.
The harsh language by Menendez over the ad highlight an increasingly nasty campaign that has already been colored by a corruption case that was ultimately dismissed, but has made the race far closer in the polls than anyone ever anticipated.
The allegations in the Hugin ad first began to surface six years ago, when an anonymous tipster alleged that a wealthy supporter arranged for Menendez to fly on his private jet to the Dominican Republic to have sex with prostitutes, at least one who was underage. The tipster was never identified.
Given voice mostly by right-wing and conservative bloggers, the allegations were not supported by any evidence, but became the focus of vigorous denials by Menendez after they found an ear on a conservative website during his last re-election campaign.
The Daily Caller claimed it interviewed two unnamed women who claimed to be prostitutes. With their faces concealed, they said Menendez had paid them for sex. In the wake of the uproar that followed, the women told prosecutors they had lied about their involvement with Menendez in return for cash–in a setup they were told involved a divorce case.
Still, the claims resurfaced once again in 2013, after the FBI opened an investigation into Salomon Melgen–a high-profile Palm Beach ophthalmologist who was later convicted of Medicaid fraud and was a central figure in the federal corruption trial later brought against Menendez.
Menendez and Melgen would later be criminally charged in April 2015, with federal prosecutors accusing the senator of trading the power of his office in exchange for six-figure campaign contributions from Melgen, along with luxury hotel stays and private jet flights. The indictment, though, made no reference to prostitutes.
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Hillary Clintons Secret Service vehicle involved in crash
The case ended in a mistrial. When the judge subsequently acquitted Menendez and Melgen on seven of the 18 charges, prosecutors opted not to seek a retrial and moved to dismiss the case.
Ted Sherman may be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @TedShermanSL. Facebook: @TedSherman.reporter. Find NJ.com on Facebook.
Hillary Clintons car crashes in parking garage
Hillary Clinton apparently suffered no injuries when the Secret Service vehicle she was riding in Monday night was involved in a crash, NJ.com reported.
Video: Hillary Clinton helps raise funds for NJ. Sen Bob Menendez` campaign
Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, was traveling to a fundraiser for U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez in Jersey City, where she was the featured speaker. The Secret Service vehicle pulled into a parking garage, made a left turn and hit a concrete crossbeam, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.
In its accident report, Jersey City police said the driver told them she drove into the garage and said the crossbeam was not marked with its height. All passengers refused medical attention, according to the AP.