Senator Robert Menendez

U. S. Senator Robert Menendez was re-elected in November. He got 58% of the vote. But, as conspiracy theorists will soon be telling us, his election was based on a cover-up. A cover-up orchestrated by the Obama administration. Can anyone say impeachment hearings?

Here’s what’s going on. The core story is that a volunteer intern in the Senator’s office was picked up by ICE for being in the country illegally. They were tipped off because the 18 year old had been found responsible for a sex offense as a minor and was a registered sex offender. His name is Luis Abraham Sanchez Zavaleta, though that name does not appear on the sex offender registry.

None of that will matter to the conspiracy theorists. Here’s what will. The Associated Press reports that an unnamed government source…don’t you love unnamed sources…reports that the Department of Homeland Security ordered ICE to wait until after the election to take Sanchez into custody. That would be a department of the Obama administration ordering a sub-agency to delay doing its duty in picking up a registered sex offender, in the country illegally, until after a Democratic senator could be re-elected. Now do you hear the drums of impeachment in the distance?

A source, actually willing to let his name be known, Peter Boorgaard of the Department of Homeland Security called the accusation against DHS “categorically false.” The AP claims their unnamed source is a government official “involved in the case.”

Admittedly, I can’t tell you whether the story of DHS delaying the detention until after the election is true or false. He wasn’t picked up until December 6, so you’d have to ask why they would wait a full month after the election. But no matter, that’s just a question that springs to mind. It won’t stop the calls for a special congressional committee. It won’t stop demands for answers to the usual questions: What did the president know and when did he know it? And, if he didn’t know, why didn’t he? And, who gave the order, and on whose order was the order given and what is that person’s access to the president.

Honestly, I don’t mind the questions being asked. What I mind is that this will consume us for endless gobs of time no matter what the truthful answers appear to be. If the president knew and ordered it, he probably should be impeached. It would likely rise to obstruction of justice. But, if he didn’t know, or if Mr. Boorgaard is truthful that the accusation is “categorically false”, it won’t stop the haters and conspiracy theorists from putting on their tin foil hats and finding ants in the pantry with recording devices tied to their little ant legs.

Here’s the AP story . See also, Janet Shan’s story earlier at TMV.

ELIJAH SWEETE
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dduck
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dduck
3 years 9 months ago

Mountain out of a mole hill department.

dduck
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dduck
3 years 9 months ago

Yes, but we need a bigger mole hill than this one.
How about C. Christie was a Dem mole from way back.

ordinarysparrow
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ordinarysparrow
3 years 9 months ago

Ayee…. who is the ‘unnamed source’ going to be? Is it going to be Darrel Issa, Dave Reichert, Eric Cantor, and/or John McCain related?

Perhaps swiftboating is not working so the next stage is going to be undercover conspiratorial with unnamed sources?..

Some people’s minds are quick to get trippy and truncated from reality …

KP
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KP
3 years 9 months ago

Forty years ago, Watergate was a big deal because a President of the United States involved himself in an effort to usurp the Constitution. There was violation of the 4th Amednment. Nixon tried to keep the executive branch unaccountable to the other branches of government; but our system worked. The press did their part and the abuse of power was brought to light. If something illegal happened before the 2012 elections Americans will find out about it. My gut feeling; I don’t think something illegal happened invlolving the President in this case.

dduck
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dduck
3 years 9 months ago

Still in all, it is NJ. :-)

ShannonLeee
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ShannonLeee
3 years 9 months ago

“in this case”

The other being watergate or the other being something that Obama has done?

sheknows
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sheknows
3 years 9 months ago

I’m with Elijah on this. The Republicans will pound this into hamburger for the next few months. ( just when we got done with Susan Rice and Petreaus).

It just never stops. Now we have an “unnamed source” that crept out of the woodwork to start another round. Is it my imagination, or do these witch hunts seem to pop up just when one died away.

Ironically, the legitimacy of these charges are made more doubtful simply because of the unrelenting attacks by the right which now, almost comically border on blatant harrassment.

adelinesdad
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adelinesdad
3 years 9 months ago

I think all sides could use less jumping to conclusions. Dismissing this as a conspiracy theory is as bad as saying it was an Obama plot. It’s easy to point to hysterical conspiracy advocates to dismiss this story, but you know the saying about stopped clocks.

For one thing, most conspiracy theories don’t begin with an AP story. While of course we should have an appropriate level of skepticism toward an unnamed source, the AP is no Fox News or MSNBC and I would think they would not run the story if they didn’t think their source was at least somewhat reliable.

sheknows
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sheknows
3 years 9 months ago

The associated press carries news stories from hundreds of sources. They simply report what the latest scuttlebutt is. They are impartial, or supposed to be.
Now when Fox or MSNBC gets a take on this, then we can say it’s slanted. And we WILL hear from both of them, most especially the former which I believe carried the Rice speculations for about 2 months solid!

KP
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KP
3 years 9 months ago

@ShannonLee I was thinking of the multiple attacks on President Bush (weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, enhanced interrogation/torture, Valerie Plame, Hatch Act, etc). I guess we could go back to Clinton and discuss Obama as well if you like.

KP
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KP
3 years 9 months ago

@ELIJAH — good article, I enjoyed it. As you point out, the left and right are quite predictable. From your recollection, did the left treat Bush similarly?

dduck
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dduck
3 years 9 months ago

EJ, I think it may be slightly more vicious now.

KP
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KP
3 years 9 months ago

EJ, thanks for the follow up. Much appreciated. We see it the same, all the way back to Nixon and Reagan and the break where Ford, Carter and elder Bush are concerned. It has been disappointing for all concerned and one can only hope we see a new era ushered in soon. Things seem to swing back and forth like a pendulum, particularly when each side continues to over reach.

The_Ohioan
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The_Ohioan
3 years 9 months ago

I have a question(s). If he violated the law in 2010, why wasn’t he deported then, why wasn’t he on the sex offender list, and who were the “Authorities in Hudson County” who just weeks before the Senator’s election suddenly decided to notify ICE. There may be a conspiracy – or a stunning amount of incompetence. Just askin’ I can’t think of a better ringer than an illegal alien sex offender; especially for a Senator well known for his immigration policy.

Department heads of federal entities understand dirty politics as well as anyone (Lord knows they see enough of it) and during a campaign, especially a presidential campaign, they have to be aware of such shenanigans and try to mitigate their effect.

Impeachment requires an elected official’s participation in an illegal activity. There are several dubious activities here starting with the “Hudson County Authorities” and the decisions made by them, by Homeland, and by ICE, but I have yet to see that any elected official is implicated (unless the “Hudson County Authorities” fall into that category. As always, time will tell.

adelinesdad
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adelinesdad
3 years 9 months ago

Elijah,

I hear what you are saying about the “crying wolf” problem. What makes this different, in my mind, is that this doesn’t appear to have originated from a right wing conspiracy hack. At least if it did I wouldn’t expect the AP to run it without confirmation, but you could be right that I’m giving them too much credit.

Regarding the right wing blogs calling for impeachment, I’m with you there but I think we have to draw a line of separation between what is the truth and what is the response. That there is an irrational and/or premature response does not mean the allegations are not true.

One last thought: Could there be some value to the conspiracy theorists? If a president does something nefarious at some point (which is certainly not inconceivable given that its happened in the past and we know that power has a tendency to corrupt), how would we most likely come to know about it? Ideally from the press, but as you noted journalistic standards cannot always be relied upon. Isn’t there some value in having an opposing side searching for some point of controversy, even if its for partisan purposes? Wouldn’t any trail of clues that would actually lead to something substantial start out looking like a conspiracy theory? Even if 9 out of 10 are duds, hopefully the people and the press are smart enough to recognize those, and once in a while something actually concerning might be brought to light. And at the very least those in power will be motivated to make sure they avoid even the appearance of evil. I’m in no way endorsing Glenn Beck but I don’t think we should shame Obama’s opponents into ignoring signs of possible misconduct either.

steadystate
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3 years 9 months ago

There may be a conspiracy – or a stunning amount of incompetence.

I’m generally of the belief that, while we have some great people who serve at all levels in our local/state/federal governments, this is most likely the case.

dduck
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dduck
3 years 9 months ago

I second that notion.

adelinesdad
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adelinesdad
3 years 9 months ago

Elijah, I may be guilty of using the term “conspiracy theorists” too loosely. The examples you cite are on the extreme end of the spectrum. The kind of issue I’m talking about is where there is some reason to investigate: Benghazi, Fast and Furious, GSA, Libby, Waterboarding, etc. In all of those cases the level of misconduct probably did not rise the level suggested by the partisan rhetoric, but I also wonder if those issues would not have been brought to light to the same extent if they weren’t at least partly fueled by partisans. Obviously the ideal would be to have reasonable, fair, and determined watchdogs, but I’m just not sure you can have that without the fleas that grab hold of them. All I’m suggesting is that in criticizing the fleas we don’t suppress the dogs who might fear being mistaken for them. I think you agree with that. Our main point of disagreement is this, and it is admittedly one of degree and interpretation: I think we are in danger of suppressing the dogs when our concern when a potential issue arises is primarily focused on the fleas.

dduck
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dduck
3 years 9 months ago

Man bites fleas that bite dogs.

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