Dominican Police Confirm Three Prostitutes Were Paid to Lie About Having Sex With U.S. Senator

Two weeks ago, a report by the Washington Post shamed The Daily Caller by exposing their big story about New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez and his (Daily Caller) reported fondness for underage Dominican prostitutes as a fraud. The initial Washington Post report cited one prostitute who recanted her testimony, claiming she'd been paid by a then unidentified lawyer to lie. The Daily Caller, amazingly, still stood by their story, saying the Post spoke to the wrong woman.

Now, it appears as though the right wing blog will have even more trouble defending their already discredited story, though it's obvious at this point they'll try. Dominican police who investigated the case said three women, including the two in the video used by the Daily Caller, were paid to lie about having sex with the senator. From the Associated Press:

The women, whose claims generated media attention in the United States, were hired by a Dominican attorney to make the videotaped statements, spokesman Maximo Baez told reporters. Two of the women received about $425 and the other was paid about $300, he said.

Authorities are seeking to interrogate the attorney, Melanio Figueroa, about the payments and have not determined his motive or whether he was in turn paid by someone else to set up the interviews, Baez said.

A spokeswoman for Menendez, Tricia Enright, said she hopes U.S. authorities will also investigate to determine who was behind the production of the videos as well as similar allegations sent to the FBI. She cited an ABC News report that "Republican operatives," had offered them the interviews but they determined the women were not credible and did not report the allegations.

"The evidence released today by Dominican law enforcement authorities proves what we have said all along: that the smear campaign against Sen. Menendez is based on lies, lies we now know were paid for by interests whose identities have not yet been fully disclosed," Enright said.

In addition to lying about having sex with Menendez, the investigation also concluded that none of the women were underage at the time, as the Daily Caller reported. When reached for comment about the AP's story, a rep from the Daily Caller told the Washington Post, "We've seen the story and are looking into the new developments. We'll have a piece up soon." They've since published their own version of the AP's story, with the following two paragraphs added at the end:

The DC has not independently verified the identities of the women involved in the Dominican National Police investigation, but will continue to investigate the case.

A statement released by the police made no mention of The DC.

Daily Caller nonsense aside, Mendendez still has to deal with a grand jury investigation into his financial dealings with a top donor, as well as those loud sex rumors.

[via Jezebel/AP/Media Matters/Image via AP]