Embattled New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez has resorted now to playing racial politics in an attempt to fend off the scandal ripping his political career apart.
On Sunday evening, NorthJersey.com reporter Jeff Pillets noted that Menendez “drew broad parallels between himself and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and blamed his current troubles on those with a right-wing agenda” during remarks that lasted about 20 minutes before a “predominantly black church in Trenton.”
"I have felt the sting of discrimination," Menendez said. "It has never been easy."
Menendez has been fending off allegations of impropriety for months. He is under FBI investigation for alleged solicitation of prostitution abroad, and his connections to Democratic Party mega-donor Dr. Salomon Melgen have raised troubling questions.
During his Sunday evening remarks, Menendez also continued his baseless attack against the women who were brave enough to come forward and talk at least anonymously about the allegations.
"Now we face anonymous, faceless, nameless individuals … seeking to destroy a lifetime of work," he said. "In the end, I believe that justice will overcome the forces of darkness."
The women exist. This reporter has interviewed them, and seen their faces and knows their names. Given the dangerous nature of the sex trafficking industry in the Dominican Republic--one nearly as bad as Thailand’s--this reporter plans to continue protecting their identities.
The interviews were conducted in the presence of the women’s lawyer, a registered attorney in the Dominican Republic named Melanio Figueroa. Some time after this reporter conducted the interviews with the women, Figueroa lost contact with them and they have not returned his calls.
“I’m no longer in contact with those girls,” Figueroa told the Miami Herald. “That’s what I told the [FBI] investigator, too.”
“I think they’re afraid,” Figueroa added about the two women. “That’s why they are not coming forward.”
Pillets reported that the audience gave Menendez a standing ovation.
The latest polling data coming out of New Jersey shows that Menendez's reputation has dropped off massively since he was re-elected a mere three or so months ago.