Menendez wants probe of alleged Cuban smear plot: report
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[July 08, 2014]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New Jersey
Democratic Senator Robert Menendez has asked the Justice Department to
investigate evidence said to be acquired by U.S. investigators that the
Cuban government plotted to smear him with allegations he was involved
with prostitutes, the Washington Post reported on Monday.
Citing people familiar with the situation, the Post said
Menendez's lawyer wrote in a letter to the Justice Department in
April that the alleged plot was designed to derail Menendez's
political career as he was seeking re-election in 2012.
Menendez, who is of Cuban descent and is now chairman of the
powerful U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been a critic
of Cuba's communist government.
The newspaper quoted a former U.S. official with knowledge of
government intelligence as saying the CIA obtained credible
evidence, including Internet protocol addresses, that linked Cuban
agents to the prostitution claims and efforts to plant the story in
U.S. and Latin American media.
The allegations about Menendez surfaced days before the November
The reports, first published on the conservative Daily Caller
website, said a political donor provided Menendez with free trips on
his private plane to the Dominican Republic where Menendez allegedly
engaged in sex with underage prostitutes.
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Menendez denied the allegations. The Post, quoting two people
familiar with the case, reported that an FBI investigation turned up
no evidence tying Menendez to prostitutes.
Menendez's office could not immediately be reached for comment.
(Reporting by Peter Cooney; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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