The New York Times has expressed editorial discomfort with Sen. Robert Menendez as the new chairman (as of last month) of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, arguing that Harry Reid should “remove his gavel, at least pending credible resolution by the Senate Ethics Committee of the swirling accusations of misconduct.”
Swirling or not, those accusations suggest he may be in exactly the right place, inasmuch as he seems to have been engaged in quite a few sensitive foreign relations.
UPDATE 12 Feb.
The Washington Post‘s Dana Milbank has some fun today kicking Menendez while he’s down, noting in his column that the type of prostitution of which the New Jersey Democrat is clearly guilty is the sort that’s legal (or at least difficult to prove) in Washington — trading influence for money. Menendez received $50,000 in contributions from Salomon Melgen, the Florida ophthalmologist who gave him free trips to the Dominican Republic (until they came to light, after which Menendez reimbursed $58,000) and intervened on Melgen’s behalf in other matters before regulatory agencies.
Along the way Milbank mentioned almost in passing that Melgen “also gave $700,000 to a super PAC created to elect Senate Democrats.” He didn’t mention whether any of the other beneficiaries of that largesse have prostituted themselves in the manner of Menendez. That might lead some skeptics of the major media to suspect that, just as politicians caught with their hand in the cookie jar pay for the cookies only when they’re exposed, liberal journalists object to Democratic prostitutes only when they’re exposed.