On its website, Voxxi describes itself as an “independent voice for Hispanic America” that aims to “fill a void in the mainstream media.” According to Alexa.com, which tracks website traffic, Voxxi has more than 300,000 unique visitors per month and more than 14,000 page views daily.
‘Fell through the cracks’
Asked why Voxxi had not covered Mr. Menendez’s statement, Ms. Bonfante cited what she called an “editorial decision led by [the] editor-in-chief, Emilio C. Sanchez.” She said Mr. Sanchez manages the company and heads the editorial department, while Dr. Melgen co-founded Voxxi as a “philanthropic initiative.”
Over the weekend, Mr. Sanchez and Voxxi broke the silence, with Mr. Sanchez writing an editorial about a “fierce campaign” against “the dignity, the business and the political relationships of Dr. Salomon Melgen.”
The piece, which referred to Dr. Melgen as Voxxi’s co-founder, said the doctor was waiting to learn the official reason for the FBI raid, but that agents who visited his West Palm Beach office left with boxes of medical records.
Quoting a lawyer from the Dominican Republic, Mr. Sanchez also said associates of the doctor believe that “behind the negative campaign are the groups that control the flow of merchandises and drugs in the Dominican Republic.”
The New York Times reported last week that Mr. Menendez had talked to State Department officials about the potentially lucrative contract. The outlet also quoted a spokesman for the senator as saying that Mr. Menendez had a history of fighting for U.S. companies that aren’t being treated fairly or have issues pending in foreign companies.
While the questions about the port deal surfaced last week, accusations that Mr. Menendez had sex with prostitutes, including one younger than 18, have lingered since November.
In an interview with CNN on Monday, the lawmaker said he waited about two years to pay back Dr. Melgen for the cost of flights he never reported because things “fell through the cracks,” partly blaming a busy travel schedule from his days helming the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Prostitution is legal in the Dominican Republic and thus the country is a frequent destination for first-world sex tourists. On Monday, The Miami Herald reported from the nation’s capital of Santo Domingo that many of the ancillary details in The Daily Caller’s report checked out, but that it could not confirm the charges against Mr. Menendez or find the women in question.
Separately, a Dominican woman whom Univision said had been identified by The Daily Caller as one of the prostitutes told the Spanish-language network Monday that she had never met Mr. Menendez. But it was not clear whether the woman with whom Univision spoke was the same woman.
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Jim McElhatton is an investigative reporter for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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