Washington Post: Escort Says She Was Paid to Lie About Menendez Prostitution Allegation

Mar 4, 2013
5:37 pm

UPDATE: POLITICO reported that The Washington Post has recanted part of the original online story it posted below, and it did not inform its readers. This is what POLITICO said (you can read the whole analysis by POLITICO here):

So [is the women who testified that she was paid to lie] one of the women in original The Daily Caller video?

We don’t know. In the initial version of The Washington Post’s story, published Monday night at 5 p.m., reporter Carol Leonnig wrote that Santana was one of two women who appeared in the video. But shortly thereafter, The Daily Caller claimed Santana was not one of the two women in their video. The Post later augmented the language in its story to take out the claim that Santana and her fellow escort were the women who appeared in the Daily Caller video, but did not notify readers of the change.

Wait, why didn’t the Post tell readers about a substantial change to the story?

Washington Post spokesperson Kris Coratti told POLITICO that the Post often updates stories that appear online, and updates the time stamp when it does so. But at midnight, she said, stories that go to print are simply timestamped with the month and day of the story’s online publication — in this case, March 4 — with no note of changes that occurred prior to midnight. As a result, online readers may read different versions of the story without knowing what has changed.

One part of the allegations surrounding New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez (D) appears to have officially hit a dead end, as The Washington Post reported today that an escort, who had initially claimed that Menendez paid to have sex with her, told Dominican Republic police that she was paid to make it all up.


Here is an excerpt of the Post’s story:

The woman identified a lawyer who approached her and a friend to make the videotape, according to affidavits obtained by the Post. That man has in turn identified another lawyer who gave him a script for the tape and paid him to find women to fabricate the claims, the affidavits say.

The escort was one of two women who taped videos that seems to support a tipster’s allegations that Menendez had patronized prostitutes while vacationing in the Dominican Republic.

FBI agents conducting interviews in the Dominican Republic have found no evidence to back up the tipster’s allegations, according to two people briefed on their work.

Menendez is facing an ongoing Senate ethics investigation. This week, more questions about his relationship with donor and friend Salomón Meglen surfaced.